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Harwood Elementary School's Melicher chosen as finalist for North Dakota Teacher of the Year

Harwood Elementary first-grade teacher Jean Melicher is swarmed by students after being named West Fargo School District Teacher of the Year last Friday. Dave Samson/The Pioneer

Jean Melicher, a first-grade teacher at Harwood Elementary School, has been chosen as one of four finalists for the 2011 North Dakota Teacher of the Year.

The nominees were announced Aug. 19, by State Superintendent Dr. Wayne G. Sanstead, of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Melicher was named the West Fargo Teacher of the Year in April, for her many years of dedicated service. She has been teaching in the district since 1987, when she started at Westside Elementary.

The other three nominees for North Dakota Teacher of the Year include: Kathy Fisher, a social studies teacher at Fargo South; Barb Rood, a kindergarten teacher at Phoenix Elementary School in Grand Forks; and Karen Toavs, a language arts teacher at Williston Middle School.

The North Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced by Governor John Hoeven at the North Dakota Education Association instructional conference at the Bismarck Civic Center in October.