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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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Lisa Norwick

Brookside School at Cranbrook Lower School, Bloomfield Hills

"While all of my daughter's teachers at Brookside have been outstanding, her current fourth grade teacher, Lisa Norwick, is exemplary. She challenges her students each day to achieve the best work possible and simultaneously instills a love of learning. Her teaching approach appears to treat each child on an individual basis and tailors her academic program accordingly. She must have a unique and refreshing way of teaching math, since math has now become my daughter's favorite subject. My daughter is so inspired to get to school each morning, and Mrs. Norwick is no doubt the catalyst for her motivation."

– Karen, West Bloomfield

Jan Irvin

Lanigan Elementary, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Irvin has taught my son, who is now 12, my daughter (8) and now is teaching one of my twin girls. I volunteer in her class once a week, so I see the level of committement she puts into her students. It is getting harder for our teachers to teach with the various ethnic backgrounds, behavioural issues and lack of support from parents. Not to mention that the kindergarten curriculum has changed in seven years. I see Mrs. Irvin doing her best every time I am in the class. She encourages the children to make good choices and gives them hands-on opportunities to learn concepts. She is creative and organized. She also trains college students who wish to become teachers. Now that takes patience and dedication – on top of all the teaching being done with her students!"

– Esther, Farmington Hills

Mrs. Hudson

Lakewood Elementary, White Lake

"Mrs. Hudson is truly the teacher you want every child to experience a school year with! My 9-year-old daughter, Ava, is over-the-moon crazy about her. She can't wait to go to school each morning and is eager to learn new things. She is tackling math (multiplication!) with such enthusiasm, I am both floored and thrilled! Mrs. Hudson didn't go back to college to get her teaching degree until she was 36. Apparently she kept talking about the way things 'should be done' and her husband kept telling her 'to put her money where her mouth was' and she did – and we are so grateful for that! She is an excellent teacher, always trying to learn, and takes the time to know all of her student's personalities. Ava is part of an Upward basketball team, and Mrs. Hudson asked for her schedule and came to a Saturday morning game. Ava was SO excited. She is the TOP teacher in my eyes – my daughter is thriving in third grade under her wonderful teaching style. Thank you for considering Mrs. Hudson for your award."

– Leslie, White Lake

Kate Donnelly-Harris

Gill Elementary, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Harris is an extraordinary teacher! I have seen my shy little kindergartener blossom into an enthusiastic, hard-working learner in her classroom this year. Mrs. Harris loves each of the students as individuals, showing them great love and understanding and challenging them at their individual levels. She has created a lovingly structured and organized classroom and school day that helps the children feel confident in their abilities, ability to work with their classmates, and learn both curriculum and social skills. She puts enormous extra effort into being available to parents, communicating with us and doing preparation for hours after the school day. I know she's making a big difference in the lives of a lot of little people. Even my other daughter begs to go visit Mrs. Harris when I pick them up after school!"

– Cathrin, Farmington Hills

Cathy McCotter

Ealy Elementary, West Bloomfield

"My 4-year-old son, Xavier, has autism and he started at Ealy in Mrs. McCotter's ASD class two years ago. She is the most caring and loving teacher I could ever imagine! She always has a smile on her face, and you can tell she loves all six of her students equally. Xavier is non-verbal, so she makes it a point to keep in touch with the parents via email to let us know about our children's progress. My son has come a long way since he started school. Cathy spends a lot of her own money on supplies, toys and sensory items for her students. It shows in so many ways that she loves her job and looks forward to seeing her students every day! She is like a second family to us and, because of her, I know someday my Xavier will have a voice."

– Carla, West Bloomfield

Cheryl Pelletier

Lanigan Elementary, Farmington Hills

"My son cannot wait to go to school. She makes learning a lot of fun for all the students. My son also has ADHD and is trying different medications. She has been with us and helping us every step of the way. I would recommend her to any parent of a first grader. We love everything about her!"

– Kelly, Farmington Hills

Adina Levin

Hillel Day School, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Levin goes above and beyond the day-to-day requirements of her teaching work to thoroughly invest in the students' learning and growth. She instills such a love of Hebrew, Israel and Judaica it is amazing to see."

– Elliana, Commerce

Ellen Berlin

Brace-Lederle K-8 School, Southfield

"My mom has been teaching in the Southfield Public Schools system for the past 24 years. She is the most devoted woman to her job, and I look up to her as a role model daily. She stays after school to help struggling students. When she comes home, she gets her work done very quickly and grades very honestly and efficiently. I only hope I can be as wonderful as her."

– Meredith, Huntington Woods

Judith Teodoridis-Clarke

Greenfield Elementary, Beverly Hills

"Thanks to the LRC teacher, Mrs. T., our son is having his best year ever in the fourth grade at Greenfield Elementary. To say he is thriving would be a gross understatement of his achievements in this school year. Due to birth trauma, he is behind in most areas. His reading, writing, math and social skills have all improved with her guidance. From the first week, Mrs. T. started figuring out what would motivate him to get his work done. For that fact alone, she deserves the Sherlock Holmes Award for her investigative prowess. He even chose to participate in the district-wide Battle of the Books reading competition. Those were some tough books for him to get through, but he just kept chugging along with encouragement from his family, classmates and teachers. Mrs. T. has found the perfect balance between giving him the support he needs to feel successful while also building his independence and self-confidence. She keeps in constant contact with us about how he's doing, such as if he's having an off day, or maybe he has shown an interest in a certain topic. She'd better be planning to stick around next year, or we may just have to follow her!"

– Julie, Southfield

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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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