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Perham's Tangen candidate for Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Bob Tangen celebrates with students after being named a candidate for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

For Bob Tangen, Spanish teacher at the Prairie Wind Middle School in Perham, a fiesta just broke out.

New Minnesota education commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced during her visit to Perham last week that Tangen is a candidate for 2011 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Tangen also teaches Spanish at the Perham High School, which he has done since 1990. He has taught Spanish at the middle school since 2008.

Tangen received bachelor's degrees in business administration and Spanish from Concordia College in Moorhead in 1983. He then received a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Moorhead State University in 2000.

Along with his teaching duties, Tangen currently serves as chair of the local Continuing Education Committee. He also was the knowledge bowl advisor from 1990-2000. He volunteers with many other community organizations, including as a translator for the Perham police and hospital.

Tangen and his wife ReNae have three daughters, Grace, Madelyn and Clara.

In addition to Tangen, 108 teachers around the state are also candidates for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

This is the 47th year of the Minnesota Teacher of the Year program, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools.

Teacher of the Year will be announced May 1 at the Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Over the coming weeks, a 23-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists, and then narrow the field to 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.