Some local students will have the privilege of learning from the best of the best when they return to the classroom this year.
Leah Porter, a kindergarten teacher at Wilcox Elementary School in Holt Public Schools, was named as the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Department of Education. Porter was informed of the distinction via a virtual meeting in May.
“Thank you, Ms. Porter, for creating a space for students to, in your own words, have the freedom to be themselves and be celebrated for all that they are,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Porter’s selection as the Michigan Teacher of the Year comes after a months-long, multi-level process that started with the nomination of more than 275 teachers. Porter was named one of the state’s 10 Regional Teachers of the Year in April. Each regional teacher then interviewed with a panel of statewide education stakeholders.
“In my greatest dreams, I see an educational system that allows each child the freedom to be themselves, to have security and trust in their learning spaces, and to be celebrated for all that they are,” Porter wrote in her application.
Porter will be a part of the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council as well as serve as a non-voting member of the State Board of Education and a member of the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council. Porter is also the state’s candidate for the National Teacher of the Year.
“The Michigan Teacher of the Year is an important advocate and ally for teachers and students. We appreciate and will benefit from Ms. Porter and her experiences as we work to improve Michigan public education,” said State Superintendent Michael Rice.