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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  Another honor for a Rochester teacher. This time a national honor.

Century High School teacher Natalia Benjamin has been selected as one of 45 public school educators around the country who will receive a prestigious award next year.

Benjamin was recently named Minnesota Teacher of the Year by Education Minnesota, the first from Rochester to win the award.

Rochester School District (Twitter)

She is now scheduled to receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence at the National Education Association Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala next February.


According to the NEA, “awardees are nominated for their dedication to the profession, community engagement, professional development, attention to diversity, and advocacy for fellow educators.”

"At a time when our country has faced tremendous challenges, we all are more aware than ever of public-school educators' dedication, excellence, and creativity. Never has it been more important to honor and celebrate them,” says Sara A. Sneed, President and CEO of The NEA Foundation. "Each California Casualty awardee exemplifies a passion for their students' learning, leadership among their peers, and the best in the teaching profession. We are grateful to California Casualty for its recognition and support and look forward to honoring the 2022 awardees at the Salute to Excellence in Education.”

Five of the 45 awardees will be chosen as finalists for the top national award and will receive $10,000. The educator selected for the top award will be revealed at the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education Gala and receive $25,000.

News update: Late-night house fire in Rochester.

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