Hundreds of teachers, students and families attended a special ceremony on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 to recognize and honor the teachers of the Dearborn Public Schools district at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center for the 17th annual Alberta Muirhead Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony. The ceremony, hosted by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by LaFontaine Automotive Group recognized the Teacher of the Year for grade categories Pre-Kindergarten- 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, middle school and high school.
The Chamber’s Education Committee, chaired by Stephanie Stover, had the tough job of selecting four winners from a field of more than 900 nominated teachers. Nominations were received and carefully chosen by the committee, who were made up of a group of dedicated and highly motivated members of the community.
The winning teachers for 2014 are Mary Timpf of Geer Park Elementary (PK-2nd grades), Mariam Hamid of William Ford Elementary (3rd-5th grades), Ryan Lazar of Lowrey Middle School, and Amy Memminger of Fordson High.
Mary Timpf was nominated as a 1st grade teacher at Geer Park Elementary School by her student, Nadia Mrove. Nadia described Ms. Timpf’s class as a place where she “always did fun activities that [she] learned from.”
“She always made me laugh and smile,” explained Nadia. “I remember learning how to tell time and add numbers because she made it easy for me to remember.”
Mariam Hamid was nominated by her student, Mariam Sleiman for her tremendous efforts as a 4th grade teacher at William Ford Elementary. Mariam explained in her essay that Ms. Hamid is “the best teacher in the world.”
“She is sweet and fun, and treats us like her kids,” said Ms. Hamid’s student, Mariam. She plays games with us to make sure we like learning.”
The middle school teacher of the year, Ryan Lazar, was nominated for his outstanding teaching for all middle school grade levels. He was nominated by student Haider Abdallah at Lowrey Middle School, who described Lazar as a teacher who “talked about real life.”
“We walked in the room on a dark day and our teacher turned on the lights. Someone asked a question about electricity. Suddenly, we were learning about Edison and Tesla!” described Haider. “Our teacher is more than a teacher. He’s a role model and that’s why I feel he deserves this award.”
The high school winner, Amy Memminger was nominated for teaching 11th grade AP U.S. Government and Politics at Fordson High School. Noura Chbeir, a student at Fordson who will be attending Harvard this fall nominated Memminger.
“My teacher’s class is the most interesting class I’d ever taken,” explained Noura. She…taught with a passion I’d never seen, which mirrored my love for learning.”
Each of the four honorees received a $1,000 cash prize from the Chamber, a hand-made glass apple award, and are now part of a select group of Dearborn teachers who have been recognized by the community for their ability to make a difference.
Community partners sponsoring the event were LaFontaine Automotive Group, McDonald’s “The Future,” Davenport University, Dearborn Federal Savings Bank, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Dearborn Federation of Teachers, Central Michigan University, Severstal North America, Henry Ford College, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Global E Group, Fairlane Town Center, Sylvan Learning Center, Del Taco, HYPE Athletics, Co-Op Services Credit Union, Applebees, Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan, Bangkok 96 Thai Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, West Village Dental Care, Rugenski Chiropractic, Dearborn Education Foundation, Tim Horton’s, PKSA Karate of Dearborn, Glass Academy, Dearborn Symphony, Sam’s Club of Southgate, The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, and The Henry Ford.
Sam’s Club of Southgate provided reception refreshments. Central Michigan University donated the gift bag for each attending teacher and the Glass Academy donated the glass “apple” awards for each teacher. The Henry Ford also provided a family membership for each winning teacher.
Education is one of the Dearborn Area Chamber’s core strategies. Through programs such as Teacher of the Year, the Chamber, a 600+ member organization, cultivates learning and mentoring opportunities between the student population and local business.
For more information, please contact the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at 313-584-6100. Be sure to follow the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at facebook.com/DearbornAreaChamber, on Twitter @DbnAreaChamber and online at www.dearbornareachamber.org for all the latest news and events.