This year’s 10 Michigan Regional Teachers of the Year were announced last week by the Michigan Department of Education. From those regional finalists, the state’s top educator honoree – Michigan Teacher of the Year – will be revealed next month.
The regional teachers of the year were selected for their dedication to the profession, as evidenced by their commitment to their students and track record of service in the teaching profession, both in their school and throughout Michigan, the MDE said in a statement.
“Recognizing and tapping the skills and expertise of outstanding educators across Michigan helps improve all of our schools,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “We benefit greatly from the broad perspectives of teaching and learning taking place in our great state. Michigan is fortunate to have many talented educators.”
Nine of the 10 regional teachers of the year are MEA members, and the tenth finalist works in Detroit Public Schools Community District which is represented by AFT Michigan.
Region 1: Rachal Gustafson, a special education/resource room teacher at Rapid River Public Schools.
Region 2: Amanda Clemons, an English and AP psychology teacher at Manistee Middle/High School in Manistee Public Schools.
Region 3: Katie Farrell, a 1st grade teacher at Bauer Elementary in Hudsonville Public Schools.
Region 4: Jeremy Winsor, an earth science, biology and environmental science teacher at Fulton Middle School-High School in Fulton Schools.
Region 5: Jessyca Mathews, an 11th and 12th grade English teacher at Flint Carman-Ainsworth High School in the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools.
Region 6: Tricia Zeman, a 3rd grade teacher at Sycamore Elementary in Holt Public Schools.
Region 7: Douglas Duncan, an art teacher at Prairie Ridge and Indian Prairie Elementary Schools in Kalamazoo Public Schools.
Region 8: Kristalyn Musselman, a health and leadership teacher at Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh Public Schools.
Region 9: Cara Lougheed, an English and history teacher at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Community School District.
Region 10: Michele Pizzo, an English language arts teacher at Davison Elementary-Middle School in Detroit Public Schools Community District.
The MDE received more than 400 nominations from students, staff, and community members across the state. Those nominees then were invited to take part in a multi-part competitive application process through which the 10 Regional Teachers of the Year were selected by a panel of reviewers.