Rochester high school teacher named MN Teacher of the Year

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – An English language and ethnic studies teacher at Century High School in Rochester has been named the Minnesota Teacher of the Year for 2021.

Natalia Benjamin is the first Latino educator to receive the award. She’s the first from the Rochester district to win the award, which is organized by Education Minnesota, the statewide teachers union.

Benjamin was born and raised in Guatemala, where she grew up speaking, reading and writing Spanish and French and later learned English. She said her exposure to multiple languages helped her understand how children acquire language.