BROOKLYN PARK (AP) — An educator from Winona has been named the 2011 Teacher of the Year.

She's Katy Smith, an Early Childhood Family Education teacher at Goodview School in the Winona district.

In that job, she teaches the parents of young children how they can best prepare their children for pre-school and kindergarten.

Bruce Ramsdell, president of the Winona Education Association, nominated Smith for the award. He says she's a good example of what's possible when children start on the right path toward learning.

Smith has taught in the Winona school district since 1993. She's the first family educator to win the award in its 47-year history.

The award is sponsored by Education Minnesota, the state teacher's union.

Last year's winner was Ryan Vernosh of St. Paul.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.