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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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Joshua Cutler

Hillel Day School, Farmington Hills

"Mr. Cutler is an incredible role model. He brings American history to life for his students. As the girls' basketball coach, he not only develops their skills; he works on self-esteem, team spirit and camaraderie. The parents of the school recommended that Mr. Cutler accompany the seventh grade students to Washington, D.C. this year so they could be part of his knowledge of American history. He will turn the city into a living lesson for the kids. I wish I were going, too."

– Marianne, Farmington Hills

Leigh Emmett

Wixom Elementary, Wixom

"Leigh Emmett is one of the greatest vocal music teachers in the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools district. Teaching at Wixom Elementary, this wonderful teacher teaches her art with so much compassion and enthusiasm. She shows daily her commitment to the school children, teaching them not only vocal music but so much more, such as being on a team and making wonderful music together and, as that team, being able to harmonize together. She is not only a great teacher with a terrific welcoming smile at every event, but we also cannot help but notice and recognize her after-school efforts in the school district, which include a variety of volunteer services including her most recent volunteering at the Walled Lake school district's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, where she donated time to help with food preparation for the hundreds of people in attendance. She is truly a gifted teacher that Wixom Elementary if fortunate to have, and we as a family feel fortunate to have been able to have Miss Emmett for our daughter's vocal music teacher in her elementary school years. Thank you Miss Emmett for all you do!"

– Curtis, Novi

Mark Lada

Sarah Banks Middle School, Walled Lake

"Mark Lada is one of Sarah Banks Middle School's finest teachers. One of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools' best science teachers. A head-full of knowledge willing and wanting to spread that knowledge to all those children looking and wanting to learn. Mr. Lada has teaching methods that seem to reach all personalities in the classroom. His presence is known at all events, as he seems to always be at most events with a greeting with a pleasant and welcoming smile, making you feel like part of the Sarah Banks family. He takes his time to be a leader in charge of the school's student council, and his presence is known at PTSA meetings. Always there for all his students, he has special study groups prior to a test for those wanting the extra help. He puts his students first! Thank you, Mark Lada, for making our daughter Hope's educational experience in middle school that much nicer. We hope every child in America is fortunate enough to have a wonderful teacher like Mark Lada. He is a true inspiration to teachers everywhere."

– Curtis, Novi

Mr. Todoroff

West Bloomfield Sports Club, West Bloomfield

"When I saw an announcement of a Metro Parent's teacher award, I immediately thought of Mr. T – the martial arts teacher at the West Bloomfield Sports Club. I do not know of any other teacher who would be so compassionate and dedicated to educate kids. He teaches kids respect, self-discipline and honor – and brings happiness to every child's life. It is an absolute delight to see kids interact in his class and how happy they are during and after class. He is truly an outstanding educator."

– Nonna, Farmington Hills

Vicky Donovan

St. Fabian School, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Donovan, with her caring heart and ability to make students love to learn, has turn my C-average student into an A student with such a passion for learning, we spent our mid-winter break in Washington, D.C. She is absolutely amazing, and I can't begin to describe what she has done for my son, and his ability to learn and to love history and space."

– Laura, Farmington Hills

Roxanne Sanders

Lakes Area Montessori, Commerce Township

"A visit to Ms. Sanders' classroom will find an organized, peaceful classroom with a quiet buzz of activity: Students working individually or together, all energized to complete their work and share with the class. Although it is a classroom of 20 children in grades 1-5, Ms. Sanders creates individual plans for every student. They are designed to encourage the students' strengths and work on their weaknesses. Ms. Sanders works closely with the parents to attain goals. There are no challenges too big to be overcome. Ms. Sanders' students gain entry to (and excel at) the area's most challenging schools. They are taught to be responsible for their work, to encourage and help their classmates, and have strong experience in public speaking. It is no surprise that parents choose to bring their children back year after year to Ms. Sanders' classroom. My daughter still says, 'I miss Ms. Roxanne!' She is certainly one of the most influential persons in her young life, and a role model we are glad to have chosen."

– Pamela, Commerce Township

"In such a short period of time, Ms. Roxanne won our hearts and, most importantly, has won the heart of our daughter. She wastes no time in getting to know her students and has a high level of expectations for each and every one of them. Managing a multi-level (1-3 grade) classroom, she, along with her talented staff, somehow manages to instill a strong sense of pride in her students own education, quality of work and love of learning while exceeding academic standards. She has shaped my daughter's love of learning into a passion for life. What more could a parent ask for?"

– Stacy, Commerce Township

Nicole Kutsick

Sheiko Elementary School, West Bloomfield

"Year after year, Ms. Kutsick goes above and beyond what's asked of her to bring her love and knowledge of music to the children she teaches. Each grade, from K to 5, put on an amazing performance by the end of the school year. The quality of her teaching shines through repeatedly. But you might say that about many music teachers. Ms. Kutsick doesn't stop there. She also runs a fifth grade choir. This group of 45 children put on 10 performances throughout the school year. Year after year, the fifth graders give up their recess time to practice with her. These aren't ordinary performances. They travel to nursing homes and senior-residence centers to provide much-needed stimulation and entertainment. The children are taught an important lesson about giving back to the senior community. They learn how much of an impact a single performance of theirs can mean to this population. She extends learning beyond the classroom in a most meaningful way. It's for these reasons she should most definitely receive special recognition."

– Suzanne, West Bloomfield

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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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