Danielle Wlodarczak, a beloved kindergarten teacher at Challenger Elementary, has been selected as the 2022-2023 Howell Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Wlodarczak was surprised with the award by Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent, and David Cherry, Challenger Elementary principal, during a school-wide assembly on Friday, Feb. 10. Stacy Pasini, Howell Public Schools Board of Education president, Courtney Tarara, Howell Public Schools Board of Education vice-president and members of Wlodarczak’s family were also present for the surprise. Wlodarzcak has been teaching in Howell Public Schools for nearly 22 years.
Wlodarczak received numerous nominations for the Teacher of the Year Award. Many of the nominations shared that Wlodarczak is a lifelong learner who continually seeks new ways to improve her skills and support her students. Multiple nomination letters shared how Wlodarczak has been instrumental in creating the Challenger summer reading program and how she is always willing to volunteer to help other reading initiatives such as Camp Highlander and the Highlander Reading Express. It was also noted that Wlodarczak is often at various district and community events supporting current and former students.
“Being named teacher of the year for Howell Public Schools is a huge honor. There are so many teachers in Howell that deserve this award, I am still in shock! I have been teaching in Howell for 22 years and I can honestly say this district is the best! Spending the day with my students is what makes my heart happy! I am proud to be a Howell Highlander and a Challenger Champion,” said Wlodarczak.
“Danielle epitomizes all that the Howell Public Schools Teacher of the Year award stands for. She sees each student as an individual and works tirelessly to support their varying needs,” said Cherry. “Danielle is passionate about developing a love of reading in all students, and she has helped develop many reading initiatives at our school and supports the district’s summer reading programs.”
“When you look at the four areas of the Teacher of the Year nomination form, Danielle checks each box. She inspires all students to do their best and continually works to improve as a teacher. Danielle is well respected by parents and teachers, and she is beyond active in the district and community,” said MacGregor. “Highlander Nation is a better place because we have Danielle on our team.”
A committee composed of 25 teachers, support staff, parents, a central office administrator, principals, and a school board member was tasked with selecting this year’s Teacher of the Year. Individually, committee members reviewed the support materials for the 111 certified teachers nominated for this year’s award. Each committee member then voted for their top five nominees.
On Tuesday, Feb. 7, the committee met to review and discuss the top five Teacher of the Year nominees resulting from the initial vote. After discussing each outstanding nominee, each committee member voted for their top three choices. Following the vote, Wlodarczak emerged as this year’s winner.
The Howell Board of Education will honor Wlodarczak at its March meeting.