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Rockstar Teachers

There's just something about certain teachers that draws students to them in droves and keeps them checking in years, even decades later. Here, we highlight some of these rockstars of the classroom.

‘I show them another way, and another way, and another way’

A bank was robbed. Fifteen suspects – all middle-school staff members – had their mugshots taken, each holding a dollar bill up to their forehead. Algebra students were notified. The CSI team was waiting on video surveillance to confirm the...

Respect and Relationships Build Bonds with Students

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Bill Kennedy's AP Government class kicks off as it does on most days: with video news footage. Today it's a story about a Defense Department study buried by the Pentagon that found $125 billion...

Director takes joy in teaching student musicians, ‘to see what they can do and...

Band director Greg Wells grew up as part of Northview’s proud tradition, in a family of music educators, and feels honored to carry it on

Her overarching goal: to teach that American ideals are worth striving for

Rebecca Debowski witnesses and guides her students as they learn to look at things in a more nuanced way and respect what one another have to say, from every perspective...

‘Bring your best every day’

Katie Bredeweg, a second-grade teacher at Stoney Creek Elementary, talks about her experiences in the classroom and the lasting impact that a teacher can have...

A new teacher with a passion for the classroom: ‘I love helping kids’

While the number of new teachers continues to drop dramatically, Brittney DesLauries says she wants to do it for the rest of her life...

She focuses on words and beyond, helping ELL students be successful

As an EL teacher and club adviser, Christy Tripp-Arkema advocates for students, serving as a bridge and a voice. She’s a high-energy, passionate instructor who learns along with her students and makes sure they have what they need to be successful...

Fast Talking, Storm Chasing, Globe-Toting Teacher

The first thing you notice in Dave Carmichael's weather and science class is that he often carries around a globe, using it as a prop to explain intertropical convergence, polar jet streams and pressure belts. The second thing you notice...

After Auto Industry, He Chose ‘Noble Career’ of Teaching

David Staublin has been known to poke fun at his diminished hearing. Having grown up in Charlevoix, he said, he attended "a lot of concerts" at Castle Farms, a '70s and '80s mecca for rock 'n' roll. "And I think...

Retirement, Yes! Leave School? No Way!

For Sue Blackall, retirement is just the beginning. After 32 years and 800 pupils, the Appleview Elementary third grade teacher plans to open the book on two new projects in the district when she hangs up her teacher's hat this...

Kenowa Hills’ Tracy Horodyski Named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Tracy Horodyski dreamed as a child of being a truck driver, but ended up helping steer students toward their own dreams. Her success in doing so earned her the honor of being named 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year. The...

Michigan art teacher of year makes all subjects ‘artful’

Art teacher Adrienne DeMilner brings art into all subjects and areas at East Kentwood Freshman Campus and out into the community. She was recently awarded 2018 Michigan Art Educator of the Year and Secondary Art Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Art Education Association...

‘My Class is More Than What I Teach Them’

At 7:45 a.m. daily, teacher Terry Blevins begins the day with his 30 audiovisual broadcasting students tooling about a warren of separate rooms stuffed with computer screens, Canon cameras, teleprompters, professional video cameras on pedestals and video monitors. In...

Part Silly Adult, Human Monkey Bar; All Kindergarten Teacher

Gerald Neff sits on a kindergartner-size table at the front of his classroom on a recent morning and welcomes his class to a new day. "Morning Georgia! You're wearing a dress. Are you getting married today?" he asks a youngster...

‘100 percent mesmerized by my job-this is what I get to do today’

Making sure each student is recognized and learns life lessons are what matters, said this Cedar Springs teacher...

‘Nobody can take our education away’

After completing her student teaching at Thornapple Kellogg, Erin Kraker is back, bringing her own style to the classroom...
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