Education Minnesota, a statewide educators union from the United States, awards Filipino-American teacher Sarah Lancaster as the first Asian to receive the title ‘Minnesota Teacher of the Year’ for 2022.
Lancaster, who is born from a Filipina immigrant mother and American father, works as a first-grade teacher at Onamia Elementary School in Minnesota, United States.
For 9 years, she had been educating first and third-grade students. Lancaster is praised by co-teachers and co-workers for her passion in helping students become their best.
In a submitted video to Education Minnesota’s selection panel, she stated that as the only POC (person of color) teacher from her area, she gets to show students diversity and how to ‘break barriers’.
“As a teacher, I get to show my students that they can reach beyond whatever barriers they encounter. I get to show them that beyond these barriers is an amazing person, a scholar, an athlete, someone looking to connect with their culture and find their true identity. I can supply and awaken the language, strategies, enthusiasm and joy that very well may have been inside them all along,” Lancaster said.
Co-teachers had also expressed their admiration for Lancaster being hands on and well-connected with her students.
“Sarah [Lancaster] is forever willing and open to acquiring new knowledge to help students in need of intervention or enrichment,” said Cynthia Martin, Lancaster’s co-teacher at Onamia.
With nine years of being a teacher, Lancaster has instructed over 20 seasons of athletic and art programs in Onamia. She had also directed 3 annual high school musicals, as well as volunteered with local youth groups. Presently, she is serving as the President of the Onamia Area Civic Association.
Now awarded as ‘Minnesota Teacher of the Year’, she is set to become the voice of teachers to education organizations, community groups, students, lawmakers, and the media.
Lancaster’s historic award is a win for Asian-American educators in the United States.
Lancaster was chosen by an independent selection committee among over 77 teachers across the state. She is the 58th recipient of the award.
Photo Credit: https://educationminnesota.org/
Source: https://www.educationminnesota.org/news/press-release/onamia-educator-is-2022minnesota-teacher-of-the-year/, https://educationminnesota.org/news/awards-and-honors/teacher-of-the-year/teacher-of-the-year-facts/