SPS announces Teacher of the Month program

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 17, 2016


SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — To recognize the hard work and dedication of teachers, officials from Southfield Public Schools recently announced the Teacher of the Month program.

According to a news release from SPS, teachers can be nominated by students, parents, staff or community members. Each Teacher of the Month will be featured in the district’s weekly newsletter, on the SPS website, in social media and on the district’s TV channel, TV 16.

University High School Academy and University High School Preparatory Academy teacher Tiffany Hackworth recently received the first Teacher of the Month award. Hackworth teaches eighth- through 11th-grade science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes.
Hackworth has been teaching at SPS for 10 years and said she was excited to hear that she had been given the award.

“I’m ecstatic. I wasn’t expecting this,” Hackworth said. “It was very surprising that students and parents recommended me. It was so nice to know that — that’s the best part of it, for me,” she said.

Hackworth also received the 2016 Engineering Society of Detroit Outstanding Future City Teacher of the Year award for her work as a mentor, sponsor and advisor for University High School Preparatory Academy’s Future City team.

Designed as a cross-curricular competition, Future City incorporates math, science, engineering, technology and language skills. More than 400 students and 150 volunteer engineer judges and mentors participated in the event.

Originally, Hackworth said, she hadn’t planned on becoming a teacher and got an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. She began teaching full time in 2006 at Southfield-Lathrup High School in the mathematics department. Prior to teaching in SPS, she taught at Pershing High School and Bethune Academy in Detroit Public Schools.

University High School Academy Dean Marcia Williams said Hackworth’s students know they’re cared for.

“We are so grateful for Tiffany’s commitment to our Future City team and to our school,” Williams said in a prepared statement. “Students love her because not only is she a wonderful teacher, but she also takes the time to get to know each one personally and creates a warm, comfortable and caring environment for them.”

“My students know I care about teaching. I go above and beyond, and I want them to have the best. I think they see it, and it transfers through my personality,” Hackworth said.

Nominations for Teacher of the Month can be made on the SPS website, southfieldk12.org, by clicking on the “Teacher of the Month” spotlight and filling out a short form.

Staff Writer Cari DeLamielleure-Scott contributed to this report.