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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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Jennifer Culley and Amy Lane

Twin Beach Elementary, West Bloomfield

"These teachers 'team teach' kindergarten at Twin Beach Elementary. They are everything you would want in a kindergarten teacher. They are compassionate, but at the same time, keep order. They are organized and know what to say to make you feel comfortable. They enjoy their job, and it shows in the classroom and with the kids. They are a true TEAM!"

– Amy, West Bloomfield

"The reason I am nominating two teachers is that they 'team teach' my daughter's kindergarten class. It is a unique and wonderful situation. I feel like we get 200 percent, since they are each able to contribute 100 percent-plus of themselves each day. Their philosophies are the same, there is no break or distraction when one comes in and the other takes over in the afternoon. My daughter has taken off in both math and reading especially, and I know it's because they keep the classroom fun, the subjects interesting and know just what each child needs to excel. Their energy and enthusiasm for what they do is evident from the way they display the children's work in the classroom, to the special events they plan for the parents to come and see what the children have been learning. Every child should experience their first year of school with teachers just like this!"

– Lisa, West Bloomfield

Darcy Dowd

Hillside Elementary, Farmington Hills

"She is the best! I always feel short of words to describe her. She is the best!"

– Deepa, Farmington Hills

Lori Charochak

Hoover Elementary, Hazel Park

"Ms. Charochak teaches first grade at Hoover. She is a phenomenal teacher. The way she teaches the money and states, etc. makes it like a game for the kids. She takes an active interest in the kids. She recently found out that my husband will be out of town for an important event for my daughter, and Ms. Charochak is going to attend it – surprising my daughter – to help make it special for her. She is just wonderful, and I can't say enough good about her!"

– Danielle, Livonia

Ms. Everette

Laurus Academy, Southfield

"I would like to nominate Ms. Evertte because she is a talented woman. She helps us children with everything, from educational issues to home issues. She lets us know when we are slacking off and builds us back up. Ms. Everette is also encouraging and does everything in her power to help us. This is why I nominate Ms. Everette."

– De'Aira, Detroit

Bill Munson

Kingsbury Country Day School, Oxford

"I've heard some say that 'those who can't do XYZ, teach.' This is not the case for Bill Munson, who brings art to life for the kids; junior kindergarten through eighth grade at Kingsbury Country Day School. He is an amazing, world-class artist who also happens to be gifted at translating his knowledge in a way that inspires and is easily understood by all ages. Mr. Munson identifies the topics learned in core curriculum classes and creatively reinforces the topics in his own classroom through a wide variety of media and techniques. He has turned our school into a surprisingly sophisticated gallery. He often donates his talent, personal materials and time after school for the benefit of the entire school community. The students love him and the parents are incredibly appreciative of the talent he shares in and out of the classroom."

– Lori, Almont

Nola Whetstone

Kingsbury Country Day School, Oxford

"There are so many incredible teachers at Kingsbury Country Day School that it's difficult to pick just one. Nola Whetstone is a second-grade teacher at the school in Oxford. To say that she 'teaches' wouldn't be enough. She nurtures students. She gently stretches them beyond what they think they can do. She helps them realize that they can be confident, creative problem solvers. Understanding that not all kids learn in the same way, she seeks to identify every student's style, and then varies how information is shared within each lesson so each kid 'gets it.' Parents are always welcome in the classroom; no appointment necessary. My husband has observed she is very intuitive when it comes to understanding her students and what they need. If there is something she doesn't know, she will go above and beyond to find answers. For example, the summer before my son would become her student, I explained to her that he has dyslexia. She proactively expressed sincere interest in recommended books or other resources she could study during her summer vacation, in order to best help him. Not only is she a dedicated muse, but my son says, 'She's pretty nice.' My daughter was in Nola's class a couple years ago. She adds, 'Ms. Whetstone makes learning fun.'"

– Lori, Almont

Ayela Perlstein

Hillel Day School, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Perlstein teaches from the heart and loves her students like her children."

– Shay, Farmington Hills

Leslie Baron

Hillel Day School, Farmington Hills

"Mrs. Baron is an outstanding role model and teacher. She's a cool, hip woman who understands kids. She is able to explain science in a way that resonates with the students. She's kind, comforting and generous with her time and attention. Mrs. Baron goes above and beyond, she assists with book clubs, she has parent seminars on cultural topics, she assists with social action projects. She's the whole package!"

– Marianne, Farmington Hills

Ms. Brown, Ms. Baker and Ms. Wesley

Silver Springs Elementary, Norhville

"I have had three A+ teachers at Silver Springs. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Brown, was fun because she had great centers. We also had Buddy Bear that we took home for a weekend. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Baker, was great because she taught me about commas. She also taught me disco spelling, so I could spell words like 'prettiest' and 'because.' My second grade teacher is Mrs. Wesley. She is always awesome because she makes learning fun. We have a class store that teaches us about money. We earn money when we are leaders. We get to buy things from the store each month. Another thing I like about Mrs. Wesley's classroom is that we have a class pet. Our class is a beta fish and her name is Rhoda. I feel really lucky to have the best Silver Springs teachers!"

– Marissa, Northville

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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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