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Three Catholic school teachers honored by Van Andel Education Institute

May 7, 2020

Three teachers from Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids have been honored by the Van Andel Education Institute for being outstanding educators.

VAEI named the 2020 Betty Van Andel Teachers of Excellence during this Teacher Appreciation Week. Among them are:

  • Mrs. MaryAnn Bridge, St. Thomas the Apostle, kindergarten
  • Mrs. Christine Wright, San Juan Diego Academy, 5th grade
  • Ms. Alyssa Wysocki, St. Stephen, 4th grade

“These outstanding teachers were selected for their hard work and dedication to their students, and for creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking thrive,” according to VAEI.

See what principals wrote about these teachers’ dedication in the classroom:

“Kindergarten is a magical year, not only for little ones, but for their parents as well. It is the critical year for setting the necessary tone for love of learning. MaryAnn Bridge embraces her students and their parents in a partnership that unfolds in close relationships and rich learning.”
-Suzi Furtwangler, St. Thomas the Apostle principal
“Christine develops long-lasting relationships with her students and cares deeply about their spiritual, intellectual and physical development -- which is manifested in the kind and respectful manner in which they behave with her and with each other. Christine creates opportunities for her students to contribute to our community in various service learning projects. In keeping with our mission, she weaves the virtues of Catholic faith into all of her teaching, affording her students experiences that positively impact the common good.”
-Kristina Martinez-Precious, San Juan Diego Academy principal
“Alyssa does an amazing job at finding and providing opportunities for students to learn in a way that is engaging and applicable. She genuinely wants the best for each of her students and will go that extra mile to make sure they succeed.”
-Cindy Thomas, St. Stephen principal

Watch a video from VAEI recognizing all honorees. (Click here if the embedded video doesn’t display below.)

Catholic schools in the diocese have worked with VAEI to incorporate inquiry-based methods into science instruction. Read more about this effort here.

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