On April 30, 66 teachers were honored by Oakland Schools and the Oakland Schools Education Foundation (OSEF) for being nominated as an Oakland County Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Annually, the Oakland Schools Education Foundation encourages Oakland County school districts to nominate educators for Teacher of the Year. The nominees are then screened by a selection committee that includes representatives from Oakland Schools, education referent groups and the community. Judges score each nominee based on application content and testimonials from colleagues, parents and students. In each grade level (elementary, middle and high school) a winner is picked. This year, 66 teachers total were nominated: 23 elementary, 20 middle and 23 high school.
Three of those individuals were declared winners when staff from Oakland Schools visited their respective classrooms over a two-day period – March 20-21- and surprised them to announce the news.
The winners are:
- Ryan Wasmund, from Lakeville Elementary School (Oxford Community Schools)
- Tracey Jensen from Holly Middle School (Holly Area Schools)
- Martin Ballard from Avondale High School (Avondale Schools)
At the event, which was held at Oakland Schools Main Campus, nominees received a certificate of appreciation and an engraved padfolio. The winners received the same, plus were granted a $2,000 check from OSEF and main event sponsor, the Oakland County Credit Union. Family members of each nominee were invited to attend the ceremony. The winners, along with the principals of the school they represent, gave speeches. Videos and interviews from the surprise visits were also played throughout the ceremony.
“It is important for us to take the time to recognize those who truly make a difference in our students’ day-to-day lives,” said Oakland Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson, who presented the awards to the nominees and winners. “These educators are the ones who inspire our youth to achieve their dreams and are invaluable to accomplishing our mission here at Oakland Schools of learning today, transforming tomorrow.”