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Top Teacher Award Nominations 2012

Metro Parent asked southeast Michigan parents to tell us which teachers have made a difference in your child's life. Check out all the 2012 nominees and see what moms and dads had to say!

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Kathy Mouradian

Heritage Elementary, Highland

"Mrs. Mo, as the kids know her, is a fabulous kindergarten teacher. It's her entire way of being that just surprises me in wonderful ways. Her class is different. She strings lots of lights to the ceiling and will give the children a break from the harsh fluorescent lights and use the ones she has hung (along with natural light from the windows). One day when my daughter forgot her glasses at home, Mrs. Mo moved her seat so she would have an easier day in school. My daughter felt better and had less eyestrain just because Mrs. Mo was proactive in helping her. Mrs. Mo has this kind and gentle way of being that makes me want to learn her secret so I can use it at home with my kids! I've seen her effortlessly help her special needs kids by leaning down to gently squeeze their shoulders to help them calm down. What she does, works. I watched her do this one day in amazement at how she just kept flowing in her gentle tone speaking to the class, helping this child to calm down as if it was just routine to her. I absolutely love Mrs. Mo's approach to teaching her kindergarteners, and I'm so happy that my daughter is starting school with Mrs. Mo."

– Jaimee, Highland

Mrs. Phillips

Daniel Axford Elementary, Oxford

"Mrs. Phillips is my son, Kirk's, second grade teacher. The reasons I would like to nominate her are the following: 1. She has a very kid-friendly sounding voice. She is so easy for all the kids to open and relate to simply by her voice and personality. 2. She has very unique techniques she uses in the class – one of them being she teaches the kids sign language. She encourages them to use it in class when asking questions and, therefore, they pick it up very easily. Sign language is a language you can always use and you never know when you will need it. An example being: The class had a 'lock down' one day, and I happened to be there to help in the classroom. Mrs. Phillips calmly directed all of us to get into the walk-in closet and be very quiet. The reason for the lock down was there was an unidentified man walking outside the school property. We were kept calm by Mrs. Phillips with her using sign language to direct us. The situation turned out to be nothing to worry about; however, I thought, 'What an amazing teacher to keep us so calm and in the know with the sign language.' 3. Lastly, she makes all the children feel very special with all her praises, notes and stickers she rewards them with. I truly hope Mrs. Phillips will win this recognition as 'Top Teacher.' She really needs to be recognized!"

– Michele, Oxford

Brenda McGuire

Dolsen Elementary, New Hudson

"If there was a teacher who needs to be spotlighted as a top-notch teacher, my recommendation is for Mrs. McGuire. She is my daughter's first grade teacher. This woman has been a blessing in my family's life. You see, Izzy was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Before we knew she had this, Mrs. McGuire was taking steps to assure Izzy was comfortable in her class setting. Being a teacher with 25 other children to look after, Brenda makes sure to give every child in her class that one-on-one time. She believes in her students and, as a parent who has witnessed this, you become proud of teachers like her. I give her the most respect and only hope that my daughter comes across others like Mrs. McGuire in her school years to come. Mrs. Brenda McGuire deserves to be nominated – and here's my vote."

– Charlene, Wixom

Ms. Rama

Lakes Area Montessori Center, Commerce Township

"Ms. Rama knows the subject matter and inspires her students to do their best. She always makes her students feel important and welcome. Ms. Rama is the best teacher!"

– Elena, White Lake

Janice Kaminski

Costello Elementary, Troy

"I'd like to nominate this teacher, who is a special educator. For at least 20 years, she has toiled and given her all and more for the kids who come into her classroom. She's always patient, and she truly understands both the struggles and victories that come in dealing with kids who have special needs. She isn't just their teacher. She truly loves them. Like, last year, I might not have allowed my son with autism to attend the annual fifth grade camp trip if she hadn't gone along with them. With her many years of experience dealing with other children and their families who are on the spectrum, she always has good advice and ideas. When she's not teaching, she mentors new teachers. In addition to that, she helps other phenomenal nonprofit organizations in the area with fundraising and other things. I know she is also involved with Troy Kiwanas. She does SO much in the Troy community for our kids and the thriving of everything that's good about this community. I just think it'd be great to see her recognized."

– Vanessa, Troy

Daniel Ristau

Geisler Middle School, Walled Lake

"He is a social studies teacher, as well as the coach for basketball girls/boys. He is so considerate and he also comes to school on days when there is no one to help kids. He sends emails, he makes calls, he stays late, he arrives early."

– Kimya, Farmington Hills

Paula Abramson

Wattles Elementary, Troy

"I nominated Paula Abramson for this Top Teacher Award because of her caring, compassionate relationship she had with her students and parents. She always took time to answer any and all of my questions and concerns. In addition, she viewed each of her students individually. If a child needed extra help with something, she provided that – as well as giving additional challenges to those students who required it. She always gave 110 percent. It is for all these reasons I believe that Paula Abramson deserves recognition as Top Teacher."

– Karen, Troy

Ann VanFleteran

Guardian Angels Catholic School, Clawson

"Ann Van Fleteren – Mrs. V, as the kids call her – is my daughter Lilly's first grade teacher at Guardian Angels Catholic School. Mrs. V loves all of her students. She is a wonderful, encouraging and compassionate teacher. Mrs. V is an excellent role model for both students and parents. She weaves God and religion into everything she does. Her patience with 27 first graders is outstanding. Mrs. V is very organized, and her ability keep up with all of the things that come with her job is amazing!"

– Monica, Madison Heights

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May 9, 2012 12:40 pm
 Posted by  Kristina

My son Jaxon is currently in Mrs. Ricci's Kindergarten classroom. She is so loving and patient. She challenges her children and keeps them moving forward. She works with each child at there level and keeps them moving forward. She inspires them to learn and to love learning. My son just loves her!

May 22, 2012 11:56 pm
 Posted by  looghe

My son had Wayne Janda for 3rd grade at Pinewood, he has got to be the best teacher he has had so far. His grades were great he excelled in math. I could not have asked for a better teacher. He is one of those
teachers who makes learning exciting and fun. If a child was having a hard time he goes the extra mile to help.

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