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Marlette Educator; Regional Teacher of the Year

LANSING – Ten Michigan educators have been named as 2018-19 Regional Teachers of the Year and will comprise the 2018-19 Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council, a group of teachers dedicated to sharing a teacher’s voice in education discussions throughout the state.
These teachers were selected following a multi-level process that began with more than 430 different teachers being nominated by students, staff, and community members.
On April 18-19, they will interview with a panel of statewide education stakeholders to determine the 2018-19 statewide Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY).
“We have outstanding teachers across this great state and we want to recognize their regional impact and benefit from their experiences,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “This brings a broad perspective to improving teaching and learning in all Michigan classrooms.”
As Regional Teachers of the Year, these 10 educators have been helping make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years by providing strong leadership in their buildings and districts, and now will have opportunities to expand their leadership role by having opportunities to bring a teacher’s voice to a wider audience in their regions.
The 10 teachers are:
Region 1: Gina Pepin, a reading specialist and literacy coach for the Escanaba Area Public Schools
Region 2: Kymberli Wregglesworth, who teaches history at Onaway High School in Onaway Area Community Schools
Region 3: Wendy Tenney, a music teacher at Lowell High School in Lowell Area Schools
Region 4: James Goodspeed, who teaches English and history at Fulton High School in Fulton Public Schools
Region 5: Karen Nicol, an elementary teacher at Marlette Elementary Schools in Marlette Community Schools
Region 6: Robyne Muray, who teaches English, language arts, and history at Lansing Eastern High School in the Lansing School District
Region 7: Laura Chang, an elementary teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary in the Vicksburg Community Schools
Region 8: Bobbiesue Adams, who teaches mathematics and physical science at Fowlerville Junior High School in Fowlerville Community Schools
Region 9: Thomas Torrento, director of bands for Van Dyke Public Schools
Region 10: Courtney Valentine, who teaches mathematics at the Detroit International Academy of Young Women in Detroit Public Schools Community District
The statewide MTOY attends State Board of Education meetings as a non-voting member, sharing a teacher’s voice with State Board members.
The MTOY also is eligible to apply for National Teacher of the Year and participates in several national conferences with their fellow state teachers of the year.
Program expenses are covered through a generous sponsorship from Meemic.
“As the program sponsor, Meemic Insurance Company is proud to partner with the Michigan Department of Education to honor educators throughout the state for their outstanding achievements,” said Pam Harlin, director of the Meemic Foundation. “We are especially excited about the new regional Teacher of the Year format. Recognizing teacher-leaders at the regional level elevates the diverse voices of educators across the 10 regions of our state, allowing a better showcase of the quality and excellence of Michigan teachers.”
Marlette superintendent,Sarah Barratt said, “This fall, I received an e-mail asking me to consider nominating a teacher for the Michigan Teacher of the year award. Athough there were many deserving teachers at Marlette Community Schools, it did not take me long and I didn’t have to look very far to find a quality candidate, Mrs. Karen Nicol.
There were 570 nominations from around the state were received for this award. When Karen received her nomination in November, she was humble and hesitated to complete the application. I assured her then that she was not only deserving of the award personally, but that she was representing all of the quality Sanilac County teachers that rarely get state-wide or even regional recognition. She graciously completed the rigorous application.
In early March, she was notified that she was a finalist for Region 5 and had additional paperwork and a video to submit!
This past weekend, she was notified that she is the Region 5 Teacher of the Year and is one of 10 regional finalists for the Michigan Teacher of the Year Award!
She will interview in Lansing on April 19, at 11:30 a.m. We will all anxiously await the announcement of the 2018 Michigan Teacher of the Year in May!
I am so very proud of Karen Nicol and so very appreciative of all she does for the Marlette Community Schools parents, students and families! She is definitely a “Shining Star” and we will recognize her at the May Board meeting.
Celebrating another Marlette success with you.”

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