For the last 14 years, Gobles has marked the last day of school with the PRIDE awards ceremony; a program that recognizes teachers for their outstanding accomplishments, as well as their contributions to students, the school and local community.
“Because of each of you, we have a great school district at the heart of our community,” said Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Rehlander.
The Gobles Board of Education’s Board President, Terry Doyle, also spoke to the teachers about their impressive contributions to the Gobles Public School system.
“After 12 years of being on the school board, I can’t say that we’ve ever had a better year of education,” said Doyle. “I really appreciate all that you’ve done and all that you continue to do.”
Emily Redmond and Julia Baker were honored as the recipients of the Education Hero Awards, a Van Buren County distinction that recognizes local educators and community members.
“I’m proud to say that Emily has provided leadership with the band at Gobles that has been noticed throughout the state,” praised Rehlander.
The superintendent described Julia Baker as a “learning expert,” going on to say that she is “Very valuable to Gobles Public Schools.”
Erin Tregloan and Ellie Lower presented Michelle Guritz with the Elementary School Teacher of the Year award.
In a presentation that focused on Guritz’s love for being at the pool, the presenters explained why she was the clear choice for this honor.
“Unlike these flip-flops, Michelle is extremely professional,” boasted the co-presenters. “This year alone, 78% of her class met the ELA benchmarking goals, which was the highest individual classroom percentage at Gobles Elementary.”
In the words of one of her students, “My teacher helps me every day because she’s nice, and sweet, and kind, and does new things.”
Loriann Harbaugh and Emily Redmond recognized Shaina Tubergan as the recipient of the Middle/High School Teacher of the Year award.
Harbaugh and Redmond began their presentation with a pop quiz in honor of the last day of school. The final question revealed the 2016 award winner as Tubergan.
During their presentation, Harbaugh and Redmond shared several quotes from Tubergan’s peers and students.
“She is the hardest working teacher I have met and does so without letting other people know how hard she is working. She simply works hard for all of the students in our school system,” cited a peer.
A student explained, “She is always positive and makes people feel warm, and not dark and cold.”
Julie Boes and Veronica Peterson presented Bob Lisowski with the At Large Teacher of the Year award, a third-time recognition for the educator.
Lisowski is known as a teacher who strives to make learning fun in any way that he can. Students often look forward to taking his exciting, yet challenging, classes.
“Mr. L’s class if full of surprises, entertaining lessons, and tons of dead things just waiting to be cut open,” gushed a student.
In addition to the commitment to his students, Lisowski is also notorious for being a selfless and unfailing peer.
“Bob gives relentlessly to his community, school district, union and curriculum. He will never turn away someone who needs him, and never stops trying to better himself,” said the co-presenters.
Boes and Peterson also acknowledged Lisowski’s wife and family with flowers for their constant support and contributions to the community.
The award-winners were surprised to be greeted by their friends and family in honor of the award.
In addition to the many honorees that were recognized during the PRIDE celebration, Lowie van Staveren was also honored for his retirement after 14 ½ years with Gobles.
“It’s been a privilege to represent Gobles,” said a proud van Staveren. “I’ve lived in several different school districts and it doesn’t get any better than Gobles.”