Education, Politics

Introducing Kent County’s HS Teacher of the Year: Heidi Kolp!

Your humble blogger had the privilege of introducing Heidi Kolp as Kent County High School Teacher of the Year this evening. Everyone should know what an amazing, inspiring teacher she is.

So share this. On Facebook. Twitter. With your state representative. With One Tough Nerd. With the local media (who don’t cover these union awards – messes with their message, you know). And now, the introduction:

Good evening. . . 

According to what I’ve read in what used to be The Grand Rapids Press, our public schools are broken, our teachers are failing our kids, and everyone in this room is just fine with the status quo.

At our broken school, Lowell High School, we’re thrilled that Heidi Kolp is this year’s Kent County High School Teacher of the Year, the third such Red Arrow educator to receive the award in the past four years.

That’s some broken school.

We have teachers, we have dynamic teachers, and we have Heidi Kolp, who is a DY-NAM-IC!!!! teacher! 

I’ve never worked with a more enthusiastic, more engaging, more positive teacher than Heidi. To observe her class is to watch the best of the best practices put into action. Whether it’s US Literature, Speech, Debate, Shakespeare, or anything else she’s been asked to cover, Heidi approaches each class with careful attention to curricular detail and compassion for her students.

Here’s the part that exhausts me just writing about it: In addition to her stellar classroom presence, Heidi is Lowell’s musical director. Under her leadership, dozens of students have had the opportunity to perform on stage and behind the scenes in “Annie” and “The Music Man”, two of the more successful shows to hit the LHS stage in recent years. Heidi has also shared her love of teaching with teacher assistants and student teachers, extending her influence beyond Lowell High School.

And, like all of us, Heidi is fully aware of the demands placed on today’s public school teachers, and she is active in communicating with state legislators in an effort to help them make the right decisions for our students. More important, Heidi is an amazing mom to her three children. I’m sure her husband, Kurt, thinks the same.

Let the Press, and the Mackinac Center, and the Chairperson of the House Education Committee tell us we’re broken, we’re failing, and we’re doing business as usual.

Let them watch Lowell High School’s Heidi Kolp in action. And we’ll watch them eat their words.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce the KCEA 2013 High School Teacher of the Year, Heidi Kolp.


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