LANSING, Michigan – Amy Smith, of Whitehall, Michigan, has been named Michigan’s 2020 Online Virtual Teacher of the Year – an annual honor given to an online instructor who has demonstrated excellence and made a positive impact in the online classroom.
“While the past and upcoming school year has presented challenges for all educators, Amy has done an outstanding job in demonstrating her competence in instilling a thirst for knowledge and passion for language and culture in her students in a online environment, ”said Jamey Fitzpatrick. , President and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “As we look to the future of education, we are incredibly proud to honor an instructor who sets such a great example of the role virtual education can play in student success. “
Since 2009, Michigan Virtual has annually recognized an exceptional online educator with this award. Smith, a French and health teacher, was praised for her passion to be able to translate virtual education into real student success. Increasingly, many high schools in Michigan are unable to offer a variety of world language courses, compared to Michigan Virtual which offers Spanish, French, German, Latin courses. , Japanese, Chinese and American Sign Language.
“I know firsthand from feedback from my own students that a positive relationship with an online teacher has a huge impact on student well-being and success, both personally and academically,” Smith said. “I have come to truly appreciate the adaptability and flexibility of online learning to meet the needs, circumstances and aspirations of learners and teachers. “
Smith, a graduate of Hope College in Holland, Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, and Western Governors University in Utah, has been a virtual instructor in Michigan since 2015. She previously held French teaching and teaching positions. auxiliary at Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Hillcrest High School in Utah, Canyons Virtual High School in Utah, and Lakeview High School in Battle Creek.
In congratulatory letters from state leaders, Governor Gretchen Whitmer noted that during the events of the past year, Amy has shown exceptional commitment and dedication to her students and to the building a strong educational base in Michigan. Further, State Superintendent Dr Michael Rice said the outstanding praise she has received from students and mentors is proof of the tremendous impact teachers can have on their students, which they teach in a face-to-face or digital environment. .
Since its inception in 2009, 14 teachers have received the distinction of being named Michigan Virtual Online Teacher of the Year. To be selected, key criteria include a positive impact on students, continuous improvement in practice, and a vision for the future of online education. This distinguished award was created to set a bar of excellence and put a face to the amazing teachers in the digital learning community.