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Congratulations to Amber Damm, Minnesota’s newly selected 2009 Teacher of the Year! Amber was chosen out of a field of eleven finalists this weekend to become the 45th Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Amber teaches English and Language Arts to seventh and eighth graders at Clara Barton Open School in Minneapolis. She is a tireless teacher who never gives up on her students, a model practitioner for fostering parental involvement in education, and passionate believer in the power of reading. Amber will start a whirlwind media tour on Monday, with numerous TV and radio appearances throughout the day.

As a footnote to this story, my last official duty as the 2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year is to sit on the selection committee for choosing the 2009 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. As part of that duty, I got a chance to witness all eleven of the finalists’ interviews this weekend. It’s a remarkable opportunity to hear such talented and dedicated teachers talk about their educational beliefs and classroom practices. Choosing one teacher from the eleven finalists is a daunting task, as any of the finalists would make an outstanding representative for teachers.

Congratulations, Amber!

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