Once again, teacher Bobbie Blazo found herself shocked and amazed Wednesday afternoon.
, Blazo has been named the 2011 Oakland County Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year. The Novi resident received the news as a surprise entourage from Oakland Schools and Farmington Schools arrived in her third-grade classroom around 2 p.m.
"I'm just stunned," Blazo said. "I am so speechless, which isn't me at all. I love being a teacher so much, and I can't tell you what a great honor this is. ... Thank you, thank you, thank you."
A Beechview teacher since 1997, Blazo was selected from a pool of 16 nominees by a panel of educators and community residents, according to a press release issued by Oakland Schools. Candidates were evaluated in six areas: engaging students, meeting students' individual needs, demonstrating knowledge of the subject area, demonstrating classroom management, relating to parents and colleagues, demonstrating citizenship and leadership in the school community, along with support statements from colleagues, parents and students.
One of those statements in support of Blazo's came from Alex Wheeler, a high school senior and former student, who said her constant encouragement to become a "risk-taker" helped him grow as a student and an individual.
"Of the many teachers I've encountered throughout my time as a student, Mrs. Blazo stands out as one of the very best," he wrote.
In a presentation worthy of Publisher's Clearinghouse, Oakland Schools Deputy Superintendent Carole Schmidt teamed up with Farmington Schools Superintendent Sue Zurvalec to give Blazo the news, as her students erupted with a rousing chorus of cheers and applause. The honor comes with a $2,000 check; Blazo will also be recognized at an Oakland Schools event on May 5.
The Oakland County Outstanding Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, with funds from Health Alliance Plan (HAP).