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Manke, Lunde up for Teacher of the Year honors

One-hundred-and-one teachers have accepted their nominations and completed the required candidate materials to become eligible for the honor of 2009 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

A few of those candidates include local teachers -- retired Detroit Lakes teacher Shan Manke, Lake Park-Audubon teacher Joan Lunde, Park Rapids teacher Jill Stevenson and Perham teacher Tricia Irvine.

This year's program will name the 45th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, from public or private schools.

The 2009 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 3, at The Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Over the coming weeks, a 22-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists, and then finalists.

Education Minnesota organizes and underwrites the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Program, which receives program and award support from the following organizations: The SMARTer Kids Foundation, The Northland Inn, the Harvard Club of Minnesota Foundation, United Educators Credit Union, McDonald's Restaurants of Minnesota, Teacher Federal Credit Union, Pearson Education and Education Minnesota ESI.