Teacher of the Year Nominee Says 'Students Keep Her Fresh and On Her Toes'

Tartan High School teacher Barbara Halbrehder has been nominated for the 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award.

After more than 30 years of teaching in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, Barbara Halbrehder has just received some recognition. 

Halbrehder has been nominated for the 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Halbrehder is one of 135 candidates who has accepted their nomination and has taken the necessary steps to receive the honor.

"I was blown away and humbled beyond belief," Halbrehder said of the nomination. 

Halbrehder started her teaching career as a student teacher in 1980 at North High School. From there she received a teaching job as a physical education teacher and taught at Cowern Elementary, Maplewood Middle School and then arrived at Tartan High School in 1990. Or as Halbrehder says, she returned to Tartan.

"It was like a 'welcome home' thing because I actually graduated from Tartan and grew up two blocks away from the high school," Halbrehder said. 

In addition to teaching physical education, Halbrehder has also coached girls soccer, ice hockey, track and field and gymnastics for nearly 28 years. Halbrehder even started up the girls hockey program at North High and Tartan High when it was a combined program for both schools.

In addition to her long list of coaching opportunities, Halbrehder also coached hockey at Augsburg College. 

Plus, she also got in the groove as a prom chaperone at North High and Tartan for a combined period of 25 years, she said.

"I've done a lot of different things over the course of my career," Halbrehder said.

Though she's been teaching for more than 30 years, Halbrehder still can't get enough.

"There's never a dull day. Students are continually presenting new challenges pretty much every hour you walk into the classroom," Halbrehder said. "The kids keep you fresh and on your toes because I think students expect a lot of their teachers and hopefully we meet their expectations." 

Not only has Halbrehder enjoyed the students, but she gives much of the credit for her teaching career to two women: Marcia Kremer, her mentor while she was a student teacher, and June Cochrane, a teacher at Tartan while she was in school.

This year’s program will name the 49th Minnesota Teacher of the Year, celebrating the tradition of excellence in teaching in Minnesota. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, from public or private schools.

The 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced Sunday, May 5, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn. Over the coming weeks, a 25-member panel of community leaders will name a group of semifinalists, and then finalists.


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