An English teacher at a Shakopee alternative high school is Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year.

Kelly Holstine was chosen Sunday from among 12 finalists. Holstine is the 54th recipient of the award and the first from the Shakopee district.

Holstine teaches at the Tokata Learning Center , an alternative high school serving students in grades 9 through 12 in the Shakopee district and surrounding areas.

In a statement, Holstine said her students are “some of the most creative and brilliant humans” she has ever worked with.

Holstine has taught at Tokata since 2012. She has been teaching in Minnesota since 2007.

The statewide teachers union Education Minnesota organizes the Teacher of the Year program. There were 167 candidates in this year’s original field.