From left, Roseville Community Schools teachers Melissa Peiffer, Jennifer Baldes and Emily Collias were recognized by the district for being nominated for the Macomb Intermediate School District’s Make a Difference Award.

From left, Roseville Community Schools teachers Melissa Peiffer, Jennifer Baldes and Emily Collias were recognized by the district for being nominated for the Macomb Intermediate School District’s Make a Difference Award.

Photo by Sean Work


Roseville teachers recognized for making a difference

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 1, 2019

 Each year, Roseville Community Schools highlights the work of educators who have gone the extra mile and were nominated by parents to receive the Make a Difference Award. This year’s honorees are, from left, Melissa Peiffer, Jennifer Baldes and Emily Collias.

Each year, Roseville Community Schools highlights the work of educators who have gone the extra mile and were nominated by parents to receive the Make a Difference Award. This year’s honorees are, from left, Melissa Peiffer, Jennifer Baldes and Emily Collias.

Photo by Sean Work

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ROSEVILLE — Three Roseville Community Schools teachers were singled out at the district’s Board of Education meeting Sept. 23 for being nominated for the Macomb Intermediate School District’s annual Make a Difference Award.

The award is given to educators who go above and beyond to help improve the lives of students with special needs. Public school staff members throughout Macomb County are eligible, and the Roseville district had three teachers nominated.

“They are honored in our district at the school board meeting, but they could be chosen at the county level as well,” explained Teresa Tomala, the special education director for Roseville Community Schools. “The competition really is performed by the MISD; we are honoring the candidates from our district.”

The three educators are Melissa Peiffer, a teacher consultant at Eastland Middle School; Jennifer Baldes, a special education teacher at Roseville High School; and Emily Collias, a social studies teacher and student assembly sponsor at the high school.

“Every winter the PAC (Parent Advisory Committee) of the Macomb Intermediate School District sends out the Make a Difference nomination forms and asks parents to nominate a staff member, like a teacher, social worker, paraprofessional or anyone else involved in a child’s education,” said Tomala. “This includes areas for the parents to fill out, such as rating the staff member’s communication, their ability to improve a child’s self-esteem, and so forth. After these forms are returned, the board of the PAC reviews them and a few winners are chosen from the nominations.”

The district held up the three teachers as examples of being proactive.

“All three of these teachers showed dedication to students, good communication with families and the willingness to address the whole student so all of their needs, such as emotional and social needs, are also met,” Tomala said. “The parents and students who nominated couldn’t say enough about the good they do each and every day.”

All three teachers expressed their gratitude and how touched they were at being recognized.

“I was so surprised,” remarked Collias. “It is such an honor to have parent recognition, especially at the high school level, because the parents have so many teachers. For someone to reach out and say something positive about me is so great. … I’m very appreciative that they took the time to nominate me for this. They’ll never know how much this means to me.”

“I’m very honored and excited about it,” added Peiffer. “It came from a parent and it’s a parent I think very highly of, and they have a student I think very highly of, so I’m flattered they think of me this way.”

They each gave their advice to other teachers.

“It’s important to realize that you can’t know the impact you can have on a student, so you should always try to make it a positive impact,” said Collias. “Always help students be the best they can be.”

“Don’t give up,” Peiffer added. “As educators, we can get easily overwhelmed, and we always have more put on our plate. Teachers shouldn’t give up on students.”

The school board and other district leaders expressed their pride in the three educators.

“Their willingness to go above and beyond to meet the needs of each student in the classroom is appreciated and admired,” Tomala said. “They are at the front line of what we do, and we couldn’t do it without them.”

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.

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