State names Michigan Teacher of the Year
The state has selected a local high school math teacher for an honor that comes with statewide leadership responsibility.
Luke Wilcox, a mathematics teacher at East Kentwood High School in Kentwood Public Schools, has been named the 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year, or MTOY.
The Michigan Department of Education, State Board of Education and Meemic Foundation sponsor the program.
MTOY recognizes the contributions teachers make to the state and to the learning community and honors teacher excellence. Each year’s honoree serves as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession.
Wilcox was chosen from among dozens of other nominees statewide.
“Great teachers inspire and motivate students to reach goals far beyond what the students originally expected of themselves,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “We honor Luke as the tremendous teacher he is and to recognize the huge contribution that devoted teachers are making by connecting with students and elevating young peoples’ lives.”
As the MTOY recipient, Wilcox will travel across the state and nation, meeting with policy makers, educators, parents, students and citizen groups, speaking at education conferences and participating in a non-voting capacity at monthly State Board of Education meetings.
He will be eligible to apply for National Teacher of the Year and will participate in related activities, including a national conference in Phoenix, announcement of the NTOY in Washington, D.C. and the Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
He will also attend up to three Meemic-sponsored events during his one-year term of service.
Wilcox will receive a financial award for his school paid for by the Meemic Foundation, as well as a classroom technology package from SMART Technologies. He will also have the opportunity for a full scholarship through Walden University to the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership programs.
Wilcox received a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University in 2006.
He serves as an academic support coach at East Kentwood and has taught algebra 1, geometry, pre-calculus and AP statistics since 2001. He has also served as math department chair.
In 2015, Wilcox was among a group of math and science teachers who received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching from former President Barack Obama.
He said it was inspiration and motivation from teachers and counselors that helped him become the valedictorian of his high school class and launched his teaching career.
“Their examples provided me with the drive to later become the successful public educator that I am today,” Wilcox said.