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Ten Outstanding Michigan Educators Named 2019-2020 Regional Teachers of the Year

April 1, 2019 

LANSING – The 10 new Michigan Regional Teachers of the Year were selected for their dedication to the profession, as evidenced by their commitment to their students and track record of service in the teaching profession, both in their school and throughout Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.

“Recognizing and tapping the skills and expertise of outstanding educators across Michigan helps improve all of our schools,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “We benefit greatly from the broad perspectives of teaching and learning taking place in our great state. Michigan is fortunate to have many talented educators.”

This year, MDE received more than 400 nominations from students, staff, and community members across the state. Those nominees then were invited to take part in a multi-part competitive application process through which the 10 Regional Teachers of the Year were selected by a panel of reviewers. A map of the ten regions can be found on the Michigan Teacher of the Year program webpage.

The 2019-20 Regional Teachers of the Year are:

Region 1: Rachal Gustafson, a special education/resource room teacher at Rapid River Public Schools.

Region 2: Amanda Clemons, an English and AP psychology teacher at Manistee Middle/High School in Manistee Public Schools.

Region 3: Katie Farrell, a 1st grade teacher at Bauer Elementary in Hudsonville Public Schools.

Region 4: Jeremy Winsor, an earth science, biology and environmental science teacher at Fulton Middle School-High School in Fulton Schools.

Region 5: Jessyca Mathews, an 11th and 12th grade English teacher at Flint Carman-Ainsworth High School in the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools.

Region 6: Tricia Zeman, a 3rd grade teacher at Sycamore Elementary in Holt Public Schools.

Region 7: Douglas Duncan, an art teacher at Prairie Ridge and Indian Prairie Elementary Schools in Kalamazoo Public Schools.

Region 8: Kristalyn Musselman, a health and leadership teacher at Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh Public Schools.

Region 9: Cara Lougheed, an English and history teacher at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Community School District.

Region 10: Michele Pizzo, an English language arts teacher at Davison Elementary-Middle School in Detroit Public Schools Community District. 

Together, the Regional Teachers of the Year form the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC). The group’s mission is to bring the teacher’s voice to a wider audience, including working directly with MDE and providing input on proposed policies and initiatives.

In addition, these outstanding educators will interview with a panel of statewide education stakeholders on April 15-16 and one will be selected as the 2019-20 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

Each year since 1952, the Michigan Teacher of the Year program has recognized outstanding teachers and provided an opportunity to those teachers to advocate for students and the teaching profession with a wider audience.

The Michigan Teacher of the Year also has a seat at the table with State Board of Education members as a non-voting member; and is Michigan’s candidate for the prestigious National Teacher of the Year and participates in several national conferences with fellow state Teachers of the Year.

Program expenses for the Regional Teachers of the Year and Michigan Teacher of the Year are covered through a generous partnership from Meemic.