Northfield teacher Deb Bakke has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2013 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. 

The field of possible candidates for this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year honor has been narrowed to 39 semifinalists. A selection panel of 25 community leaders chose the semifinalists from an initial field of 135 candidates from across the state.

The panel will meet again in late March to select about 10 finalists from the group of semifinalists. The current Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Jackie Roehl of Edina, will announce her successor at a banquet at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park on May 5.

Education Minnesota, the 70,000-member statewide educators’ union, organizes and underwrites the Teacher of the Year program. Candidates include pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public or private schools. 

Reach reporter Ashley Klemer at 333-3132 or follow her on Twitter.com @AshleyKlemer.