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Royal Oak

Published June 19, 2013

Royal Oak schools recognizes two teachers for achievements

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In a picture taken in March, Addams Elementary teacher Molly Brinker, left, stands with her mother, Judy Byington, of Ann Arbor, after she was surprised in class and named Oakland County Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year. The school district honored Brinker with a distinguished recognition award during the June 13 Board of Education meeting.
Lois Mann, kindergarten teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary, was named one of the region’s best educators by Metro Parent magazine. Royal Oak schools also gave her a distinguished recognition.

ROYAL OAK — At the June 13 Board of Education meeting, the school district gave out a pair of distinguished recognition awards to two of its elementary teachers.

Both Molly Brinker, a third-grade math teacher at Addams Elementary, and Lois Mann, a kindergarten teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary, have already been recognized for their achievements as teachers.

Brinker, 37, was named Oakland County Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year in March — the first in Royal Oak schools’ history. The Clarkston resident was an eighth-grade English instructor at Keller Middle School from 2002-07 before shifting to Addams.

“We are so pleased and proud to have Molly working with our students at Addams Elementary,” said Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin.

Brinker said at the board meeting that winning the county award was like winning the educational lottery.

“You are overcome with this pride of being recognized for not just the person you are, but your educational craft,” she said.

Brinker said the district recognizing her was special enough, but to be named the top teacher among the thousands in Oakland County was unbelievable.

“To think that the work that I do is that impactful really just leaves me speechless,” Brinker said.

She said the county award will open the door for the school district to be put on the map.

Metro Parent magazine named Mann one of the five best teachers in metro Detroit in May, according to a press release from the school district.

“Lois Mann is an exemplar when it comes to kindergarten teaching,” Lewis-Lakin said.

He said that Metro Parent naming her a top educator in the region means he’s not the only one who thinks that of her.

Mann said that while she was grateful for the honor, any teacher within her school could have been named one of the best teachers.

“I really appreciate it, but I just feel that I work with amazing people,” Mann said to the board. “Everybody that I work with deserves this, too. It’s what I love to do. It’s what the people I work with love to do.”

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