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Career and Technical Educator at Oakland Schools Named 2011-12 Michigan Teacher of the Year

May 26, 2011

LANSING – Paul Galbenski was named 2011-2012 Michigan Teacher of the Year in a surprise announcement today by Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan. 

Galbenski, an instructor at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast in Royal Oak with over 19 years of classroom experience, was selected from among 16 regional semifinalists statewide.  He is the first Career and Technical educator to receive the honor of being named Michigan Teacher of the Year.

"Teachers have a tremendous ability to make a difference in not only their students’ education, but in their lives," said Governor Rick Snyder.  "Paul Galbenski is an extraordinary role model.  This award not only honors Paul’s remarkable dedication to his students and profession, it also provides an opportunity to recognize the thousands of Michigan teachers who have a positive effect in our classrooms every day. Great teachers like Paul and great teaching are key to developing the highest quality education in Michigan. "

Flanagan congratulated Galbenski on this recognition, saying, “Great teachers not only prepare students for college but also for careers.  Paul is an outstanding example of our Michigan teachers and understands this important connection. He also believes teachers are leaders not only within their classroom, but in their district and within the community. We look forward to his continued contributions to teaching and learning.”

Flanagan noted that Galbenski will carry on the valued tradition of Michigan Teachers of the Year who have shared their teaching knowledge, expertise, and skills with educators across the state.

“I feel my greatest accomplishment in education is engaging and working with students on a personal level as they are preparing for post-secondary education or employment,” Galbenski said. “In my eyes, being able to build a trusting relationship with students is one of the greatest accomplishments a teacher can experience.”

"Paul exemplifies the dedication, skill set, commitment to improving student achievement, and creativity that are hallmarks of a master teacher," said Dr. Vickie L. Markavitch, Oakland Schools Superintendent. "Oakland Schools is proud that one of our own Oakland Schools Technical Campus teachers is the first Career Technical Education teacher in the state to receive this esteemed honor. We join the MDE in congratulating Paul on this special achievement."

Through the corporate support of MEEMIC Insurance Company*,  Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast will receive a monetary award of $1,000 in honor of Mr. Galbenski’s recognition as Michigan Teacher of the Year to be used for the advancement of education.  Also, Galbenski will receive the use of a car during his tenure as MTOY, and a leather briefcase.  The corporate support agreement between the Michigan Department of Education and MEEMIC Insurance Company also includes a monetary award to be presented to the schools of each of the MTOY finalists. 

The other educators selected as state-level finalists for the Michigan Teacher of the Year Award are:

  1. Melody Perrin, special education teacher at Keith Bovenschen School, Macomb ISD
  2. Jerald Czarnecki – mathematics teacher at Kelloggsville High School,  Kelloggsville Public Schools

For additional information on the Michigan Teacher of the Year program, access www.michigan.gov/mtoy.  

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