Onamia teacher named 2022 Teacher of the Year

Minnesota has a new Teacher of the Year.

Sarah Lancaster is the first teacher of Asian-Pacific Islander descent to receive the award in Minnesota.

Lancaster is currently a first-grade teacher at Onamia Elementary School in the Onamia district, and has taught first- and third-grade students for the past nine years.

She says it’s important to her to live in the town where she teaches as the only BIPOC educator in her district so her students can see and identify he as a community leader.

“I want to give back to the community that once helped to set me up for success,” she said in a statement.

While receiving the award at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on Sunday, she said, “Just seeing a child light up and knowing today I got to do something that I couldn’t do yesterday, or today I get to do something that changes my life, that is the most meaningful and that’s what calls me to be an educator.”

In total, there were 11 finalists for this year’s award.