Baesler Announces Four 2022 ND Teacher of the Year Finalists

(Bismarck, ND) -- We are one step closer to finding out who will win North Dakota's next Teacher of the Year Award.

Four North Dakota educators have been chosen as finalists for the state Teacher of the Year award for 2022. They are:

  • Bret Dockter, a sixth-grade teacher at Harvey Elementary School;
  • Heather Ell, a first-grade teacher at John Hoeven Elementary School in Minot;
  • Shari Jerde, a teacher of business education and family and consumer science at Grand Forks Community High School; and
  • Matt Nielson, an 11th- and 12th-grade science teacher at Valley City High School.

Baesler added with the release of the names that especially in the wake of the past school year and dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, this award holds a bit more weight. “We have many outstanding educators in our state, and this group of four state Teacher of the Year finalists represent examples of our finest,” Baesler said. “They deserve our respect, admiration, and appreciation for the exceptional jobs that they do." She hopes it continues to inspire young North Dakotans who wish to get into education to keep pursuing their dreams.

Dockter, Jerde, Nielson and Ell will be interviewed in the coming days by an eight-member screening committee, which will choose the 2022 Teacher of the Year. Baesler and Governor Doug Burgum are required to announce the winner by September 30th, with that person being put up for the National Teacher of the Year honors after.