In traditional "Publishers Clearinghouse" style, four teachers were surprised on Tuesday with Teacher of the Year awards.
Brigades of school officials, family and well-wishers surprised teachers chosen through a nomination process, with recommendations submitted by students, parents and colleagues. The honorees are:
Dukes began her career in the District in 1999 as an English and art teacher, and in 2005 moved into exclusively teaching art. She came to the district with a Bachelors degree in English and Art from Albion College and continued her own education while teaching at Harrison, earning her Masters in Studio Art in 2009.
One nominator wrote: "One might mistake Kimmi Dukes for one of her students, not just because of her tiny size, but because she spends time sitting amongst them, at every table, every hour ... Students with problems know they have someone to talk to, in the privacy of her office." She was also credited with convincing students to , and successfully so. "Her passion for art is inspiring."
Stahr came to the District with a Bachelors degree in Physical Education from Central Michigan University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. In 1989, she began teaching at Alameda and Fairview early childhood centers, and Power Middle School. In 1992, she moved to Dunckel Middle School where she continues to teach physical education, art, intervention, math, technology and computers.
A colleague wrote: "When Dunckel was looking for a person to build an intervention program (for at-risk students), Dunckel turned to Mrs. Stahr. She has built her program from the ground up. Her class allows students at risk of failure to be monitored, tutored, encouraged, have fun and all the while find success."
With a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University, and a Masters Degree from Marygrove College, Hebert joined FPS in 2001 as a second grade teacher at Wooddale Elementary. In 2008, he moved to Flanders Elementary as a second grade teacher, and in 2010, began teaching 5th grade at Power.
"Dave works extremely hard to ensure that all of his students are engaged," a colleague wrote. "Dave starts by forming relationships with each of his students and then uses that bond to help motivate students throughoutthe day, both inside and outside of the classroom ... Students work hard with Dave because he is always right beside them. He participates with his students and facilitates their learning."
Sabon has spent her eight-year-long FPS career at Hillside, after earning a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters from Marygrove College. She began teaching 3rd grade and, in 2010, moved into the 2nd grade classroom.
"Mrs. Sabon promotes a positive atmosphere for her students, which in turn, helps them develop a positive attitude about school," a parent wrote. "She does not have individual behavioral charts hanging on her walls. Instead you will see classroom charts that encourage students to work together and reward the classroom as a unit for good behavior. You can see the respect her students have for her in their eagerness to learn."