The end of the year staff recognition celebration was held on the last day of school at the Wayland Union Fine Arts Center where staff members from Wayland Union Schools were recognized for their years of service and to honor those who are retiring this year. At this celebration each year, the prestigious Katheryn Lorraine Brenner Outstanding Teacher Award and $1,000 is presented. This year’s recipient is Mr. Don Mackey, English teacher at Wayland Union High School.
Mr. Mackey has taught for the district for 27 years. He goes above and beyond each and every day for his students. They cherish the time in his classroom even though it can be challenging. His enthusiasm and love for English is evident. Mr. Mackey serves as the English Department Chair and is part of the K-12 English Language Arts Committee. He is also an adjunct professor for Grand Rapids Community College.
Kathy Brenner was an outstanding student at Wayland Union and passed away in the fall of 1993 due to complications of cystic fibrosis. Bob Brenner, a previous Superintendent at Wayland Union for 23 years, and his wife Sandy, established the award to honor an outstanding teacher who has committed the extra time and effort to benefit kids in the classroom and/or in extracurricular activities within Wayland Union Schools.
The specific criteria for the award include:
1. The teacher must have at least five years of teaching experience in Wayland Union Schools.
2. The teacher could be an elementary, middle, or high school teacher.
3. The teacher must be one who is committed to teaching as evidenced by showing a strong knowledge of curriculum, their field of expertise, and research.
4. The teacher must believe that all students can learn.
Past recipients of this award have been given to:
2003 Sharon Nelson, Middle School
2004 Kathie Johnson, High School
2005 Susan Boehm, Pine Street Elementary
2006 Jan Laman, High School
2007 Chris Potter, Middle School
2008 Robin Seniura, Dorr Elementary
2009 Judy Mutschler, Steeby Elementary
2010 Suzanne Jurkowski, Pine Street Elementary
2011 Karen Nofsinger, High School
2012 Linda Anderson, High School
2013 Lori Howell, Steeby Elementary