Being named the Michigan Teacher of the Year doesn’t come with a manual for how to navigate the year ahead, so you have to go talk to the “teachers” — as in former Michigan Teachers of the Year. Luke Wilcox, an East Kentwood High School Advanced Placement statistics teacher who was named the 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year in May, sat down recently with a group of nine former designees for a “passing of the torch” luncheon.
To help him start his adventure, they offered helpful advice that came with a dose of humor.
Susan Gutierrez, 2002-03 MTOY and a Forest Hills Public Schools principal whohosted the event, said “It’s like a 12-month steroid journey through education.”
Matinga Ragatz, 2010-11 MTOY, described it as “kind of like bringing a baby home from the hospital.”
Wilcox said he had few fears. “I always had ideas, but now I have this new voice I never much had before,” he said. “This is an opportunity to make some cool things happen.”
The Michigan Department of Education honors a top teacher annually to serve as a spokesperson for the 100,000-plus teachers in the state.