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Perham's Irvine nominated for state 'Teacher of the Year

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Perham Social Studies teacher Tricia Irvine was among 101 teachers selected as a candidate for the distinction of 'Minnesota Teacher of the Year.'

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Although she did not make the semifinalist list, Irvine says she found the nomination by a colleague of hers to be both "humbling and incredibly flattering."

In order to be eligible for the honor, Irvine put together the required portfolio, which included items such as a resume of her teaching career; photographs of her classroom, students, and activities; a publicity photograph; an essay explaining her philosophy of teaching; and another essay stating her "message" to her colleagues and the public.

Irvine has been teaching for 19 years. She has taught at Perham's Prairie Wind Middle School ever since the school opened. Prior to that, she taught grades 7 - 12 at the high school.

As a Social Studies teacher, she is currently teaching American History to 7th graders and World Geography to 8th graders.

"Over the years, I have also taught American Government, Economics, Current Social Issues, Practical Law, and brief exploratory classes in French and Spanish," explains Irvine.

Before becoming a teacher, Irvine spent 12 years as a practicing attorney in Detroit Lakes and Perham.

This year's program will name the 45th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. 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. A 22-member panel of community leaders is responsible for naming the group of semifinalists, and then finalists.

Minnesota's commissioner of education nominates the Minnesota Teacher of the Year for the National Teacher of the Year program. The national program is sponsored by ING, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Four Minnesotans have been named National Teacher of the Year - Mary Beth Blegen, Worthington, 1996; Guy Doud, Brainerd, 1986; Robert Heyer, Mounds View, 1975; and Roger Tenney, Owatonna, 1966.

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.

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