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December 5, 2012

Two RCS teachers named ‘teacher of year’ in their fields

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — Two teachers in the Rochester Community Schools district were recently named “teacher
of the year” in their respective fields.

The Michigan Science Teachers Association selected Hart Middle School teacher Monica Harvey as the 2012 Michigan Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, and the Michigan Association of Media in Education selected Rochester High School Media Specialist Julie Harris as the 2012 Michigan School Librarian of the Year. 

RCS Superintendent Tresa Zumsteg said it is “quite an honor” that the district has two teachers who are state winners.

“When you think of all the teachers in the state of Michigan — all the private school teachers, all the public school teachers, charter school teachers, parochial school — for Rochester to have two of their teachers honored as state winners is really something very exceptional,” she said.

Hart Middle School Principal Rachel Guinn said she is “so proud and excited” for Harvey, who has served in leadership roles surrounding curriculum, instruction and professional development for many years at Hart.

“Her content mastery and teaching repertoire has served as a model for teachers in Rochester Community Schools and for many of these years she served as our teacher leader for the Science seventh grade curriculum,” she said.

Guinn said Harvey has a “What’s mine is yours” philosophy and willingly and joyously shares her craft with others, so that as many students as possible benefit.

Rochester High School Principal Charles Rowland said he is very excited and proud of Harris.

“As principal, I can assure you that Mrs. Harris is certainly deserving of this award. She is a knowledgeable practitioner and her impact on the students and teachers at RHS has been phenomenal. Whether assisting students with research projects, working with our instructional staff to effectively implement new technology into the classroom, or serving on our building school improvement team, Julie can be counted on to bring a positive, can-do, service-oriented approach to any task that she takes on,” he said.

Rowland went on to say Harris’ commitment to RHS is genuine.

“In the many years that I have worked with Julie, I don’t think I have ever heard her say no to a request that’s been made of her,” he added. “She is a true servant who seeks to find ways to make good things happen for our students and staff. RHS and our district are extremely fortunate to have a media specialist the caliber of Julie Harris.”

Zumsteg noted that Harvey and Harris represent the many outstanding Rochester Community Schools teachers.

“They always go beyond the call of duty, and I just couldn’t be more proud to have them representing our school district,” she said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.