BLOOMINGTON -- A Minneapolis charter school teacher has been named the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

Abdul Wright teaches eighth-grade language arts at The Best Academy in Minneapolis. He's the 52nd recipient of the award, and the first-ever charter school teacher to win it.

The awards are sponsored by the teachers union Education Minnesota. Wright was selected from a field of 11 finalists by an independent committee representing Minnesota leaders in education, business and government. The winner was announced Sunday at a banquet in Bloomington.

Wright says in a statement that respect is at the center of his values and beliefs as an educator. He says he tries to teach his students that they have to be a model of excellence for the community they want, not the community they see.