By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
Photo courtesy CMU
MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -
Central Michigan University '95 alumna Bobbi Jo Kenyon was completely shocked when Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan named her the 2012-2013 Michigan Teacher of the Year.
It happened at a school assembly last month. Kenyon had no idea the school was gathered to announce her recognition in front of everyone at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids, where she works.
"I was totally shocked and surprised," Kenyon said. "I was under the assumption I was there for a different reason. I feel like I blanked out for a second. It's been a whirlwind ever since."
The annual award honors Michigan's most exemplary educators. Teachers who have a strong passion for education and commitment to community leadership activities are nominated by colleagues, students or parents for the award. Once nominated, teachers then fill out an application on their philosophies on education and complete an interview. Winners of the program receive a seat at the monthly Michigan Department of Education Board of Education meetings.
In congratulating Kenyon for her award, Flanagan spoke to her strengths as an educator as she prepares her students for the future.
"Great teachers prepare students for success by connecting their desire to learn with the knowledge and skills needed for the high tech careers of this 21st century," Flanagan said. "Bobbi Jo is an outstanding example of our Michigan teachers and understands this important connection. We look forward to her continued contributions to teaching and learning."
Kenyon says the honor does not mean she's the best teacher in the state, but a representative of one of many great teachers in the state of Michigan.
"It's such an honor in our teaching profession to reach this accomplishment," Kenyon said. "There are so many other great teachers out there in the state, so it's overwhelming to be representing them."
CMU '97 alumnus and teacher at East Kentwood High School in Grand Rapids David Emeott ranked in the final four before the decision was made to select Kenyon. Emeott says his education at CMU prepared him for his own future in education.
"I had such great professors who really prepared me," Emeott said. "I felt like when I went out into the real world, I already had a step in the right direction from the very beginning because of my background at CMU. That should be encouragement to all of the Chippewas who are going to be teachers in the future."
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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