The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the Dearborn Public Schools recognized and honored the winners of the 2021 Alberta Muirhead Teacher of the Year Students’ Choice Awards on Thursday, September 25, 2021. The event was live at the Ford Performing Arts Center and attended by over 200 teachers. Hosted by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce and presented by LaFontaine Automotive Group the even recognized the Teacher of the Year for grade categories Pre-Kindergarten- 2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grades, middle school, and high school.
The winning teachers for 2021 are Katie Borrello of William Ford Elementary School (Pre K-2nd grades), Ryan Dayne of Maples Elementary School (3rd-5th grades), Clinton Crace of McCollough-Unis Middle School, and Fady Konstantinidis of Fordson High School.Each of the four honorees received a $1,000 cash prize from the Chamber generously donated by Lafontaine Automotive Group, a hand-made glass apple award from the Glass Academy in Dearborn, a yearlong membership to The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation donated by DFCU, along with a season pass to the Dearborn Symphony. These teachers are now part of a select group of Dearborn teachers who have been recognized by the Chamber in this historic 24-year program!
The Chamber’s Education Committee, chaired by Philipp Emma, had the tough job of selecting four winners from a field of nearly 1,500 nominations for 400+ teachers! Nominations are in essay form and were received and carefully chosen by the committee, made up of a group of dedicated and highly motivated members of the educational and business communities.
“Alberta Muirhead was an entrepreneur and active Chamber member who began this program to honor our educators. That year 65 nominations were received for 57 teachers in 19 schools. In 2021, those numbers increased to over 1,500 nominations for over 400 teachers in 41 schools and programs!”
Katie Borrello was nominated as a 1st grade teacher at William Ford Elementary School by her student Kareem. Kareem wrote in her nomination essay, “Even when my whole family was sick with Corona, my teacher delivered books and school stuff all the way to my house. She didn’t have to do that, but she did. That shows how much she cares about us. My teacher listens to us and cares about all of us. I love being a part of her class. I want to tell her: ‘You will forever be my favorite.'”
Ryan Dayne was nominated by his student, Adam for his stellar efforts as a 5th grade teacher at Maples Elementary School. Adam shared why his teacher should be recognized among the best, “The teacher is also extremely nice, he takes his time to explain things in detail when someone doesn’t understand something, he goes step-by-step. On top of that, to get to know us he allows us to talk about our favorite things and engages with us when we do, he listens intently to everything a student says and always has positive feedback. With that being said, he is amazing at teaching, he constantly provides resources for us to work on such as; Nearpod, Kahoot, Storyline Online, etcetera. He goes out of his way to make sure his students understand and is empathetic. He is extremely helpful as a whole. This is why this teacher should be teacher of the year.”
The middle school teacher of the year was awarded to Clinton Crace. He was nominated for his outstanding teaching at McCullough-Unis Middle School. He was nominated by Fatima who said, “Basically, he will do anything to put a smile on students faces, if we are having a bad day he will come to us and help us feel better. He is always patient with us and will always help us with our work. He always tries to give us a laugh to start our class and he will do everything to make sure we are passing. He is such a amazing teacher and he knows how to teacher very well. In addition to that we are also in a pandemic and he still tries to teach amazing, he will have us write notes, do practice pages and so much more to the point where it feels like we aren’t even virtual.
The high school winner, Fady Konstantinidis was nominated for teaching at Fordson High School. He was nominated by his student Assmaa. “I’m thankful to have him as a teacher because he sees us as individuals with valid ideas and problems, he never yields his authority against us, but instead recognizes the stress we’re under and works to accommodate that. He goes above and beyond in ensuring we have the resources necessary to succeed, he’s taken countless hours of personal time to record hour long lessons meant to assist us in tasks we might not be able to do independently. I’ve acquired critical thinking skills and overall knowledge from him and his class. I’ve found love in a field of education I didn’t know I would excel at, and now consider pursuing career wise, all due to him.”
Community partners sponsoring the event are LaFontaine Automotive Group, Campbell Family Owned McDonald’s, Century 21 Curran & Oberski, Dearborn Agency, Dearborn Federal Savings Bank, DFCU Financial, Gallagher Benefits Services, Dearborn Federation of Teachers, Jim Thorpe Ameriprise Financial, MEEMIC Toler-Stemen Agency, Sphinx Technologies, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Crunch Fitness- Dearborn, Dearborn Education Foundation, EduCare Student Services, La Pita Restaurant, PSN Technology, Chief Financial Credit Union, Delta Dental, Mati’s Deli, Detroit Furniture, Central Michigan University, HYPE Athletics, Siena Heights University, AAA Michigan- Renata Crooms, Brome Modern Eatery, Sam’s club of Southgate, and The Glass Academy.
Education is one of the Dearborn Area Chamber’s core strategies. Through programs such as Teacher of the Year, the Chamber, a 600+ member organization, cultivates learning and mentoring opportunities between the student population and local business.
For more information, please contact the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce by phone at 313-584-6100.
Congratulations to all the nominees for this year’s Alberta Muirhead Student Choice Teacher of the Year Awards and especially to the four award recipients: P-2 Teacher of the Year Katie Borrello of William Ford Elementary, Grades 3-5 Teacher of the Year Ryan Dayne of Maples Elementary, Middle School Teacher of the Year Clinton Crace of Unis, and High School Teacher of the Year Fady Konstantinidis of Fordson. Pictured in the photo from the left are Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi, Dearborn Public Schools Executive Director of Student Achievement Jill Chochol, Dearborn Schools Trustee Irene Watts, Trustee Mary Petlichkoff, Grade 3 – 5 Teacher of the Year recipient Ryan Dayne of Maples Elementary (sitting), Trustee Patrick D’Ambrosio, Trustee Hussein Berry, Grade P-2 Teacher of the Year recipient Katie Borrello of William Ford Elementary (sitting), Trustee Adel Mozip, Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee Chair Phillip Emma, Chamber President Jackie Lovejoy, School Board President Jim Thorpe, LaFontaine Automotive Group Director of Finance Imports David Lawrence, and McCollough/Unis Principal Chadi Farhat.