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Educators of the Year3 min read

We are blessed with many Lutheran schools throughout the Michigan District, and those schools are full of gifted teachers serving their Lord by educating His children every day. Each year we lift up outstanding educators who are doing extraordinary things in the classroom. It is our privilege to recognize the following educators this year:

Travis Grulke and Brenda Sievert

Brenda Sievert – 2019 Michigan District Early Childhood Teacher of the Year

During the nomination process, one person commented: “Brenda is an incredible teacher who daily lives out our congregation’s mission of showing others by word and deed how beautiful it is to live with Jesus. She has a way of connecting with each student and making them feel special and loved by Jesus.” Michigan District Superintendent of Schools Travis Grulke says, “Brenda’s ministry to the students, staff, and families at St. Lorenz, Frankenmuth is one that should be celebrated. We’re thankful for her work both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Sheri Daniell – 2019 Michigan District Early Childhood Director of the Year

Travis Grulke, Sheri Daniell, and Trinity’s Principal Bruce Volkert

Comment from the nomination process: “She manages a staff of people who respect her. Sheri has a diverse background in teaching little kiddos in Lutheran schools. She loves teaching. At the time of her hire, she could not have known how much her role would change—no one knew! She is now in a role that allows many teachers to teach children about Jesus. God had more plans for her than we knew!” Grulke says, “We’re extremely thankful for her leadership and dedication to the ministry at Trinity, Utica.”

Sue Palka – 2019 Michigan District Principal of the Year

Travis Grulke, Sue Palka, and her husband Ken

When nominating Sue, one person said, “Sue has always demonstrated to her fellow administrators what it means to have a strong partnership with the congregation, academic excellence in the classrooms, a role model for spiritual growth, and a firm but loving management style.” According to Grulke, the Principal of St. Matthew, Walled Lake is truly one of the gifted leaders we have in the district and one of the very best administrators I have seen in my years in education.”

Teresa Walter – 2019 Michigan District K-8 Teacher of the Year

L-R back row: Rev. Tim Martinal, Rev. Jim Bruner, Principal Paul Schoenkencht, Charles Winterstein. Front row: Mrs. Teresa Walter and Mrs. Brenda Hoskey (who was celebrating 25 years of ministry)

Comment from the nomination process: “Teresa is willing to learn and collaborate—a team player. She is loved by her students and parents, always willing to go the extra mile, always striving for excellence. Teresa selflessly dedicates herself to her students, congregation, music, fellow teachers, and her husband. She is a shining example of Christian living and love for her Lord.” Grulke adds, “We are thankful for her dedication to St. Paul, Millington’s ministry and her willingness to lead in a variety of ways. It is awesome to see how Teresa has been a blessing to so many.”

Congratulations to the 2019 Michigan District, LCMS Educators of the Year!

Photos courtesy of Travis Grulke and Chuck Winterstein


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This blog is published by the Communications Department of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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