ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- One Minnesota teacher has been named the recipient of a prestigious award.

The 2023 Minnesota Teacher of the Year Banquet was held at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Sunday afternoon.

Michael Houston, a mathematics teacher from Harding High School in St. Paul was announced as this year’s winner. Minnesota’s 2022 Teacher of the Year Sarah Lancaster introduced each candidate before making the official announcement.

Michael Houston highlighted the need to give the voiceless a voice and allow the unseen to be seen.

Originally from Ohio, Houston moved to Minnesota in 1999. He studied at the University of Minnesota, Concordia University-St. Paul, and Hamline University and has worked as an educator for nearly two decades.

Houston was previously a finalist for the Teacher of the Year Award back in 2017. He used his time at the microphone to lift up his fellow teachers.

To all you teachers out there, we chose this profession to impact the lives of our students for the better in hopes that it would impact our communities, our city, our state, our country, and even the world. For nearly 10 months of the year, a lot is demanded from us daily and we try to meet the challenge, though it can be exhausting. Often a thankless job, please know that you are the difference. I see you. They see you. We all see you. Thank you.

The winner is chosen by an independent selection committee made up of education, business, and government leaders from around Minnesota. Houston will now take on the task of representing the thousands of teachers across the state for the next year.

Among the other 10 finalists for the 59th annual award was Joe Schulte, a technology education teacher at Sartell High School.

The annual award is open to all public and private pre-K through 12th grade, early childhood family education, and adult basic education teachers.

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