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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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Connie Hagel

Sequoyah Elementary School, Macomb

"Mrs. Hagel is a kind, caring, remarkable and devoted teacher who goes out of her way for her students and their parents."

– Amanda, Macomb

Mary Beth Ostrowski

Walt Disney Elementary, Clinton Township

"Mrs. Ostrowski is an excellent teacher! She is so caring, and the structure of the class is amazing. It is so unbelievable to me how she is able to keep 24 kindergarten students structured and organized. She is very goal-oriented and sets high expectations of each student in order for them to succeed. She treats each student with the utmost respect. This is her first kindergarten class that she is teaching this year, and I think she is doing a fabulous job. My daughter loves her and talks about her every single day. If we had more teachers like her, many children would be a lot more advanced and excited about school. When my daughter walks up to the door, Mrs. Ostrowski always has a big smile on her face and greets the children with the best spirit ever. She really deserves this award!"

– Crystal, Clinton Township

Bonnie McCormick

Great Oak Elementary, Chesterfield

"This teacher is a tough teacher, but she commands the respect and attention of her students. My child was not interested in reading until she had Mrs. McCormick and, half-way through the year, she loves it. She really is in-tune to her students' whole education. She keeps track of all their progress through the year and can back-up at conferences all the achievements and areas of improvement with past work – and not just grades. She is caring and on-top of issues in the class between students and pulls all aside and gets to the bottom of things in a fair way. She turns these kids' work ethics and study habits around and gets them back on track. I have the utmost respect for Mrs. Bonnie McCormick. My daughter cried the last day of school because she missed her. To this day, she has kept in contact with my daughter during her elementary days and asks how she is doing. Even sending my daughter a sympathy card when she lost her grandmother. She is one of the best teachers in the school. I am thankful my daughter had the chance to have her as a teacher and only hope my boys get her, as well."

– Pamela, Chesterfield Township

Oakland County

Amy Miller

Walled Lake Elementary, Walled Lake

"Mrs. Miller inspires learning and individuality in each of her students. She takes the time to learn each student's interests, and what will best motivate them to excel. She teaches as if each student was her own child. There isn't a parent I've come in contact with that doesn't comment with how extraordinary of a teacher she was for their child. From the meetings and conferences we have had with her, it was very apparent that she took the time to get to know each student personally. My daughter was disappointed when the weekend came around and she couldn't go to school. Mrs. Miller is a huge supporter of writing and reading, which had a large impact on my daughter. She would take extra time to assist with Internet research for non-fiction writing – even at the kindergarten level. Her passion for teaching, reading and writing was instilled in many of the students. My daughter dedicated one of her first grade stories to Mrs. Miller 'for teaching me to love to write.'"

– Holly, Wixom

"Mrs. Miller works extremely hard to understand each individual student and so she can help them develop. She has a lot of patience, and her excitement about learning is passed on to the students. She is creative and passionate – and she also treats all of the kids with compassion and care. She has found a way to not only make the kids better students, but better individuals."

– Samreet, Wixom

"Mrs. Miller is a dedicated teacher and truly loves her students. She is the right mix of teacher, mother and caregiver that is needed when our 'babies' leave the nest and start school. Both of my children had Mrs. Miller for kindergarten, and I'm so thankful for her guidance and support – which set the right tone for both of my kids to thrive in school after leaving her classroom."

– Kellie, Wixom

"Mrs. Miller was a bright shining light to her kindergarten students last year and I, as a mother, felt so comfortable in my heart knowing that my son was in such good hands every school day. Mrs. Miller is so dedicated and comforting to students and parents alike. Whenever I had a question, she was immediately responding to my emails and phone calls with the answers I needed. She devoted her time to the kids and made sure that they had fun while learning important skills, which they'll need for the rest of their lives. She set a good foundation for them for their future school years. She is so creative, and she has created so many special projects for her students throughout the year – which I have saved as mementos from my son's first year of school. I noticed that she always took the time to make her room warm and inviting, and parents were welcomed in the classroom to volunteer or to spend time celebrating the kids' achievements. They were so proud to have loved ones in their classroom, and these are the memories that I think all her kids will benefit from when thinking back on their kindergarten days. The notes that came home from school always kept us informed, connected and aware of what the kids needed or what they were working on. Her organizational skills are fabulous! As another bonus, she always took the time to make each child feel special and recognized, whether it was by giving them an 'orange ticket' or sending home a note about what the child did great that day or why they were a 'star.' I am certain that each of her students felt valued and proud. As a mom, I enjoyed reading the classroom blog and seeing photos of school activities – something that I feel shows that she goes above and beyond to include the parents and keep them informed. Certainly, this is not necessary for her to do, but she did it willingly, and I for one really enjoyed the extra peek inside the classroom. I could go on and on, because the examples of her generosity are endless. Because of the many examples I already explained and all of the ones I forgot to mention, I strongly believe that all of her efforts should be rewarded and appreciated. Teachers like her don't come along too often, in my opinion. I feel that Walled Lake Elementary is very lucky to have such a great instructor – and all the children who go through her classroom will only benefit from the love and learning that she provides. Please consider this letter my formal nomination that Mrs. Amy Miller be awarded the honor of being Metro Parent's Top Teacher. She really is a shining star at Walled Lake Elementary!"

– Tamar, Wixom

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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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