Michigan Teacher of the Year awarded to Grosse Pointe North High School science teacher

Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Harwood, Trustee Cindy Pangborn, Trustee Brian Summerfield, Michigan Teacher of the Year Gary Abud, and Trustee Judy Gafa pose at an event Thursday honoring Abud.

Grosse Pointe North High School science teacher Gary Abud Jr. has been named the 2013-14 Michigan Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education.

Abud, who received the 2012 Science Teacher of Promise award from the Michigan Science Teachers Association, is a proponent of project-based learning, combining service experiences, digital learning and social media to provide his students with a broad palette of learning experiences.

“It has been my philosophy that all students can learn and achieve in the classroom,” Abud said. “Finding the right combination of strategies to match various learning styles is essential.”

Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Harwood said Abud is “a teacher amongst teachers; an innovator of instruction, a supportive guide of knowledge, and a creator of dreams for students who wish to further explore their understanding of science.”

“Gary displays every day in his classroom what great teachers in Michigan do — lead by example and help every student find the ways to learn,” state Superintendent Mike Flanagan said. “He sets a high standard not only for himself, but for his students and fellow educators.”

“He has followed his passion to continue learning and share what he learns with others,” Flanagan said. “I cannot think of a greater gift a person can give to Michigan’s next generations.”

Abud was selected from a poll of four finalists. The other finalists were:

  • Misty Balkema, a fifth-grade, sixth-grade and social studies teacher at Lawrence Elementary School in Lawrence Public Schools
  • Todd Chappa, a third-grade teacher at Lake Center Elementary in Portage Public Schools
  • Michael Medvinsky, a music teacher at Oakwood Elementary in the Brandon School District

The Michigan Teacher of the Year is selected by a committee that reviews applications from teachers throughout Michigan. Applicants submit biographies and written essays describing their educational experiences, professional development activities, philosophy of teaching and thoughts on emerging education trends and issues.