Seven teachers across the Osseo Area Schools district were named 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year candidates, including:

Minnesota Teacher of the Year logo

  • Debra Amelse, instructional assistant, Basswood Elementary School
  • Jessica Carr, first-grade teacher, Fernbrook Elementary
  • Rich Johnston, sixth-grade teacher, Osseo Middle School
  • Ann Kozarek, physical education teacher, Edinbrook Elementary
  • Jaquinetta Mitchell, English teacher, Osseo Senior High
  • Jennifer Paulson, second-grade teacher, Woodland Elementary
  • Lisa Thompson, fifth-grade teacher, Basswood Elementary School

These seven teachers are among 167 candidates across the state vying for the top title. A panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists and finalists. The 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by Education Minnesota, will be announced on May 6.

Candidates' photos are arranged alphabetically by last name from left to right.

Amelse Carr Johnston Kozarek Mitchell Paulson Thompson


 student with coconut curry bean recipeFor the last three years, Osseo Area Schools Food and Nutrition Services has been teaming up with Hennepin County to encourage healthy eating. We are making it fun for students to try out healthy foods in their lunchroom by holding taste tests of veggie recipes at 12 elementary schools from Dec. 2017- April 2018. Students will have the opportunity to try out the recipe and vote on it before it shows up on the regular lunch menu for all students. 

Eating vegetables every day is an important habit. Students who eat well are able to concentrate more effectively on their schoolwork. Try out this coconut curry bean recipe in your kitchen and encourage your student to sample the recipe when it is featured on the regular school menu this month on Jan. 25 for elementary schools, Jan. 18 for middle schools, and Jan. 17 for senior highs. 

A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into making this taste-testing program possible. All nutrition managers are trained by professional chefs on the recipes and work hard to ensure any new spices or materials are ready to go.

Watch this video to learn all about this great partnership. The collaboration with Hennepin County is possible through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership grant awarded to Osseo Area Schools in 2015.

Photo caption: A Weaver Lake Elementary student gave the coconut curry bean recipe a big smile at last month's taste testing event.