Mpls teacher gets ‘Teacher of the Year’ award from Junior Achievement

Shirley Poelstra, a business teacher at Edison High in Minneapolis, has won this year’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ award from Junior Achievement, the worldwide organization dedicated to teaching students about entrepreneurism, financial literacy, and other business-related matters.

Poelstra got the nod for an effort last spring in which Edison students partnered with Best Buy to develop, market and sell their own international cookbook. The students, for that project, won fourth place last summer in the Junior Achievement National Competition of the Year.

The organization has existed since 1919 but has awarded a top teacher since 1990 – because it’s a global organization, the winning teachers (like last year’s, from Norway) can come from anywhere. According to the JA’s list of past winners, Poelstra is the second Minnesotan to win the award (Lorraine Palkert, South St. Paul High School, won in 1991).

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