Roseville educator finalist for Teacher of the Year

Jeffrey Davies

There are nine finalists for the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award and an educator at Roseville Area High School is one of them.

Jeffrey Davies teaches industrial technology with a focus on woods and trades at the high school. The 46-year-old started out among 168 candidates for the award and made it through two cuts to be in the final running.

Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, presents the award each year. This is its 55th doing so.

Davies, originally from Lancaster, Wisconsin, has taught in the Roseville Area School District since he landed there out of college in 1995. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

A West St. Paul resident, Davies taught at Roseville Area Middle School for 14 years before moving to the high school.

Coming from a family of teachers, he said in a February interview that his profession was a “natural choice.” Of what keeps him teaching, Davies had an easy answer.

“It’s a no-brainer — it’s working with the students for sure,” he said. “I like helping people ... [the students] are at the age in high school where they’re making really important decisions.”

“It’s rewarding, it really is.”

Davies will find out if he’s the Teacher of the Year at a May 5 ceremony in St. Paul. Candidates for the award include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, early childhood and family education teachers, and adult basic education teachers, all from private and public schools.

Myriam Castro-Franco, a Spanish immersion teacher at Little Canada Elementary School, was one of the 40 semifinalists for the award. 

Two other north suburban teachers were previously named as candidates for the award: Jacob Hairrell, a physical science and physics teacher at Mounds View High School and Bill Sucha, band director at Irondale High School.

Educators from Roseville Area Schools have a decent track record with the state award. According to Education Minnesota’s website, Roseville teacher Maureen Sanger won it in 1988, Judy McCleery did it in 1986, Denneth Dvergsten won in 1975 and Theodore Molitor did it in 1969.

The winner of the Minnesota award is put in the running to be named National Teacher of the Year.


—Mike Munzenrider

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