Nevis math and science teacher Jodi Sandmeyer is among 75 teachers vying for the 2021 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award.

“I am truly honored to have my name among a top group of teachers in the state,” Sandmeyer said. “Teachers work hard. This year, they are working even harder and to be recognized for hard work is very much appreciated. I am just happy that I get to work at Nevis with a great staff and students. It is an honor and a privilege.”

This is her 27th year teaching at Nevis. She also served as the school’s principal from 2002 to 2010. Sandmeyer earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Bemidji State University. She also earned principal, superintendent and sixth-year degrees at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, gifted and talented certification at the University of California at Irvine and a doctorate degree in education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Her accomplishments while at Nevis School include starting the Nevis Robotics team, math league team and Nevis Special Olympics team with the unified partners.

She has also taken students on trips to Russia, Peru, Costa Rica, and twice to Germany and Austria, in addition to various locations in the U.S.

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Sandmeyer said working with kids is what she enjoys most about her job. “I like helping students and seeing them succeed,” she said. “I like exploring new ideas, thoughts and places with them. I truly like being with teenagers.”

“We are so proud of Jodi,” Superintendent Gregg Parks said. “She is an amazing teacher who is well respected by her students, colleagues and parents. It is always great when individuals outside of our school recognize the talents of our staff members. We wish her the best as the selection process continues.”

Organized and underwritten by Education Minnesota (EM), eligible candidates for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award include pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Early Childhood Family Education and Adult Basic Education teachers from both public and private schools.

According to a news release from EM, an independent panel of leaders in the fields of education, business, government, nonprofit and philanthropy will read candidates’ portfolios over the next few weeks and narrow the list to a group of semifinalists.

In March, the panel will convene again and review additional materials from the semifinalists to choose a group of finalists. Because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheduled Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet set for May 2 at the St. Paul RiverCentre may be postponed.