John Peter, in a familiar environment as Pelican Rapids High School soccer coach, is among the nominees for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Education Minnesota has released its list of 131 candidates for the 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, and four Lakes Area teachers are on the list.

Among the candidates: John Peter, longtime Pelican Rapids High School English Language Learning teacher and soccer coach.

Brian Selander of the Frazee-Vergas district, and Katy VanHavermaet of Lake Park-Audubon, are also among this year’s nominees.

This year’s program will name the 59th Minnesota Teacher of the Year. The program celebrates the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Eligible candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Early Childhood Family Education, and Adult Basic Education teachers, from public or private schools.

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.

The Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet is set for May 7 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.