Molly Gale, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at the Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program at the Butcher Educational Center in Warren Consolidated Schools, was named the 2018 Macomb County Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the middle school level.

Molly Gale, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at the Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program at the Butcher Educational Center in Warren Consolidated Schools, was named the 2018 Macomb County Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the middle school level.

Photo provided by Warren Consolidated Schools


WCS educator named top teacher in county

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published April 13, 2018

WARREN — From a very young age, Molly Gale knew she wanted to be an educator.

By the time she was an eighth-grade student at Berkshire Middle School in Birmingham Public Schools, Gale already narrowed down the subject she wanted to teach: U.S. history.

“I’m really passionate about history,” she said. “I love it.”

She also loves being in the classroom, and it shows. Gale, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at the Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program at the Butcher Educational Center in Warren Consolidated Schools, was named the 2018 Macomb County Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the middle school level.

“I was surprised, and I’m just really flattered,” said Gale, who began teaching for the district straight out of college 13 years ago.

Every spring, the Macomb Intermediate School District, or MISD, recognizes outstanding educators. Teachers are nominated for their dedication to excellence and professionalism by their peers, parents and students to be considered in their respective school buildings from their districts. From there, an MISD Outstanding Teacher of the Year is named countywide at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.    

This  year, 61 outstanding educators will be honored at an April 19 dinner at the MISD building in Clinton Township. Mario Impemba, the television voice of the Detroit Tigers on Fox Sports, has been scheduled as this year’s guest speaker.

“We offer our congratulations to all of these fine educators who have dedicated themselves to making a difference in the world every day. Our teachers in Macomb County provide not only quality learning opportunities, but safe and nurturing environments for all students,” MISD Superintendent Michael DeVault said in a prepared statement.

Following the state’s curriculum, Gale teaches material on the Colonial era, the Civil War and the reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. Her students learn about each period through a variety of lessons, including reading, writing and hands-on activities. Gale and her students also engage in debates.

“It’s such a fascinating time period,” she said. “There are so many pivotal moments.”

The teacher is such a history buff that she attended Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

“It’s right on the battlefield,” Gale said. “It’s been there since before the Civil War. You’re surrounded by history all the time.”

Gale hasn’t forgotten the many teachers who inspired her, and she continues to feel their influences.

“My eighth-grade social studies teacher Mrs. (Barb) Johnstone, she was fabulous, and my high school AP calculus teacher Christina Antoniolli,” Gale said. “In college, my education professors Dr. Judy Brough and Jonelle Pool were just the absolute best.”

In some ways, teaching is “more challenging” than Gale thought it would be, and in other ways, “it’s better.”

“It’s a way of life more than a profession. There’s a lot of emotion. You work with people. You have relationships with the kids. Every year, the kids are different, “ she said. “It’s not like you clock out at 3 o’clock for the day.”

Despite some of the challenges, she feels “very lucky” to be working at Butcher.

“Our district supports the arts,” she said. “I have the best colleagues. The team of teachers is fantastic.”

The MSVPA program is offered for half the day for seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Butcher Educational Center in Warren. The students then return to their home middle school the other half of the day, unless they are in the district’s Middle School Mathematics Science Technology Center program, which integrates mathematics, science, English language arts, and technology.

Gale is looking forward to Thursday’s dinner. In 2011, she was named as an outstanding middle school teacher for the district and attended the MISD dinner that year.

“It was a really nice evening,” she recalled.

The MISD elementary school Outstanding Teacher of the Year is Patricia Santilli, of Erie Elementary School in Chippewa Valley Schools. The MISD high school Outstanding Teacher of the Year is Amy Yachcik, of the Glen Peters School in the MISD.


More local teachers honored
Elsewhere in WCS, Shayna Hessell (Harwood Elementary School) and Abbey Syswerda (Warren Mott High School) were named as the district’s outstanding elementary and high school teachers.

Center Line Public Schools’ outstanding teachers are Mary Binge (Roose Elementary School), Danielle Torres (Wolfe Middle School) and Glenda LaBruyere (Center Line High School).

Warren Woods Public Schools’ outstanding teachers are John Righter (Westwood Elementary School) and Heidi Rice (Warren Woods Middle School). According to the MISD, Warren Woods only submitted the two names this year.

Van Dyke Public Schools’ outstanding teachers are Lorena Zebrowski (Lincoln Elementary School) Kelly Hohensee (Lincoln Middle School), and Elizabeth Trelfa (Lincoln High School). In addition, LHS social worker Patty Magas was named Michigan Association of School Social Workers’ SSW of the Year for Region M.

While each district can nominate only one teacher per school level to advance to the MISD Teacher of the Year competition, Fitzgerald Public Schools recognized outstanding teachers from each of its schools: Joyce Berthiaume (Schofield Early Childhood Center), Lisa Wisdom (Westview Lower Elementary), Jennifer Kosi (Mound Park Upper Elementary) Laura Murphy (Chatterton Middle School), and  Sara Sonnenfeld (Fitzgerald High School). Wisdom, Murphy and Sonnenfeld will be recognized at the MISD dinner.