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Muslim 4th Grade Instructor Named Minnesota Teacher of the Year

Achieving outstanding students’ rates while ensuring inclusion and mutual respect, Muslim teachers have won huge recognition for their efforts over the past years.

In Minnesota, a hijabi Muslim teacher of Somali origin has become the latest to join the list after being named the 2020 Teacher of the Year.

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Qorsho Hassan is a fourth-grade teacher at Echo Park Elementary School in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.

“It means a lot,” Hassan said of the award. “It’s very validating,” Twin reported.

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Teaching for eight years, Hassan credited her success to students.

“They are the reason I was selected as the recipient (of the Teacher of the Year award) and are my why,” she said.

“I didn’t have a representative teacher, and I just always yearned to teach others and kind of be what I needed when I was growing up,” she added, recalling her own experience of growing up in Ohio as a Muslim girl.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who was a teacher himself before entering politics, congratulated Hassan on Twitter.

“Thank you for ensuring each and every student that enters your classroom can have a bright future and an opportunity to succeed,” Walz wrote.

History of Success

Hassan was first selected last April by Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, as one of 10 finalists for the Teacher of the Year award from a field of 134 nominees.

Earlier in November, Kinect Education Group recognized her as a “Topnotch Equity Leader”.

With this success, Hassan has joined the list of many Muslim teachers who have won accolades in recognition of their efforts.

In May this year, a 32-year-old British Muslim head teacher became the youngest to have school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

In 2017, Nigerian Muslim teacher Zannah Mustapha won the prestigious UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award, in recognition of his efforts to teach orphans of both Islamic fighters and Nigerian army soldiers.

Earlier, a Kenyan Muslim teacher came in the top 10 finalists for the 2016 annual US Global Teachers Prize.