Statement issued Friday:
Northwood Middle School Teacher Michelle White has been named the 2010-11 Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year.
White is beginning her fourth year as a 7th-grade Language Arts teacher at Northwood and her sixth year in education.
White was selected as Teacher of the Year because of her ability to find connections to students and reach out to them at a time when many students are challenged by their changing lives. She stresses creating a sense of community in her classroom by sharing stories about herself and her family and encouraging students to share their experiences as well.
“I make sure I am friendly with my students and try to always be positive and joyful,” she said. “I treat my students as human beings and let them know it is a privilege to be their teacher, not just a job I do.”
At Northwood, White leads a student group called Sisterhood in the Wood Council, an extra-curricular group made up of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The program provides experiences and leadership opportunities to middle school girls. Guest speakers talk with students about issues the girls may be facing and to discuss career opportunities. The students also participate in community service activities, including leading a canned food drive for Community Harvest Food Bank, raking leaves for elderly homeowners, helping at a daycare and raising money for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
White has also served as the Academic Team Coordinator for Northwood, working with the Spell Bowl and Junior Academic Super Bowl teams, and is a teaching consultant with the Appleseed Writing Project, a branch of the National Writing Project.
Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson praised her accomplishments, “Through her exceptional dedication and skill in engaging her students, Mrs. White is transforming her students’ lives, both in the classroom and through extra-curricular activities.”