CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clintondale Community Schools Superintendent George Sassin called the evening “one of the highlights of the year.”
During a school board meeting May 13, school officials recognized five of the district’s educators who were named “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” for their school buildings this year.
“It’s the cream of the crop,” Sassin said. “A well-rounded group of individuals.”
Anita Anderlite, of Clintondale High School; Sue Berger, of Clintondale Middle School; Donna Liburdi, of McGlinnen Elementary; Terry Martin, of Parker Elementary; and Amy Holloway, of Rainbow Elementary, were this year’s recipients. The school’s principals had kind words for the teachers, who came before the board one at a time.
Fifth-grade teacher Holloway has been in the classroom 25 years, with music and math instruction among her list of many credits. Her husband and parents were in the audience as she was acknowledged.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are — your parents are your biggest fans,” Holloway said.
McGlinnen Principal Cathy LaMont didn’t hold back when detailing Liburdi’s attributes. The special education teacher is known for her positive attitude and tutoring students before the school day begins.
“She’s a strong leader and totally dedicated to her students,” LaMont said. “She has taken a very diverse group and built a true community of learning.”
This year marked the second time Martin was named as an Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Parker Principal Karen Hessler said Martin, a second-grade teacher, has been with the district 17 years and also is a CHS graduate. Whatever the task, he can be counted on.
“He’s always there to help us out,” Hessler said. “I couldn’t be prouder working with him.”
Every year, Macomb County teachers from each building are named as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year for their respective district. The list is then narrowed down to one outstanding teacher of the year per building level. The applications are submitted to the Macomb Intermediate School District, where a panel of judges reviews and scores the applications to select countywide Outstanding Teacher of the Year honorees.
Last Monday’s meeting also gave school officials the opportunity to acknowledge the CHS class of 2013 honor students, including Valedictorians Jacob Babbitt and Jacob Romancheck, and Salutatorian Richard Jeczen. The trio — graduating May 31 Summa Cum Laude — arrived a bit late to the meeting after playing in a Dragons baseball game.
While at CHS, the 11 recognized students were involved in many activities, including National Honor Society, Quiz Bowl, drama, band and athletics. Volunteering for various organizations also was a large part of their high school experience, and many honorees received college scholarships.
“What a great group,” CHS Principal Greg Green said when introducing them.
The three are excited for their futures. Babbitt will pursue the field of communications; automotive engineering is the field of choice for Romancheck; and Jeczen is going into accounting/marketing.
Also graduating Summa Cum Laude are Markiesha Baines and Daija Bullock, who according to the ceremony booklet, will pursue pre-med and secondary education, respectively.
Magna Cum Laude graduates this year are Ross MacKew (theater), Shantel Cribbs (musical theater), Jonathan Scherr (accounting/law), Kia Lor (nursing), Arialle Peck (psychology) and Jacob Roy (undecided).
And although not on the agenda, another CHS student was recognized during the evening.
“It gives me great privilege to welcome home Mark Kupiec,” Board Vice President Mark Titus said when pointing out the 2005 graduate.
Kupiec, sitting in the audience, served in the U.S. Army from 2006 until this year, when he “medically retired.” He served two tours of duty — one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. The infantryman served in combat and came in contact with many civilians.
“Some are appreciative. Some are hateful,” he said. “There’s a mix of emotions. It’s a toss-up.”
The military man lives in the area with his wife, Melissa, not far from his parents, Annie and Gary Kupiec.
“I wanted to see how the board meeting goes,” he said. “Maybe a future endeavor I might look into.”
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