Teacher of the Year

The Detroit Red Wings Teacher of the Year program, presented by Burns and Wilcox, was created to show thanks and gratitude to Michigan teachers and educators who change the lives of millions of children every day, inside and outside the classroom. Each month from October 2023 to March 2024, one deserving teacher was recognized with the Red Wings Teacher of the Month award, ending with a fan vote for Teacher of the Year. From March 25th to April 5th votes were cast for Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year, Dana Mayhew!

Teacher of the Year Honoree

MARCH: Dana Mayhew, 1st Grade Teacher at Monroe Elementary School in Wyandotte, MI

Dana Mayhew enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to create and teach a young fives program for the Wyandotte school district, quickly establishing a strong reputation in the area as more parents enrolled their children for an educational head start. The program, designed to nurture children academically, emotionally, and socially, ensured students were fully prepared as they start kindergarten. Demonstrating her commitment to her students' well-being, Dana treats her students as her own family, constantly creating ways to make sure her students feel supported.

Teacher of the Month Honorees

OCTOBER: Karie Starr, 4th Grade Teacher at Hickory Woods Elementary in Walled Lake, MI

With over 20 years in the district, Karie Starr had developed a co-teaching program allowing for more than one teacher to work with children in various sized groups for individualized instruction. Her co-teaching program was so successful that it was implemented across the other grades in the school. As a mentor, she guides student teachers, nurturing the next generation of educators. Additionally, she adapts her teaching for ASD and ESL students, while providing essential resources like clothing and school supplies.

NOVEMBER: Shelby McCumber, 4th Grade Teacher at Orion Oaks Elementary in Lake Orion, MI

Shelby McCumber provides personalized support through daily progress checks for all students, fostering a sense of encouragement and accountability. In addition to teaching the core curriculum, she emphasizes character building, social/emotional learning, STEM experiences, and enriching her students' education. Furthermore, she creates dynamic learning environments with nontraditional work areas and unique classroom setups, while also dedicating her time beyond school hours to offer after-school courses like yoga, bracelet making, and tutoring.

DECEMBER: Lindsey Kling, 7th Grade Teacher at Boyd Arthurs Middle School in Trenton, MI

Lindsey Kling’s teaching experience spans from first to seventh grade, bringing a wealth of knowledge and perspective to the middle school environment. As a leader in the district's Where Everybody Belongs, or WEB, program, she fosters a supportive community where 6th and 7th graders receive guidance from experienced 8th graders, easing the transition to middle school and emphasizing the impact of individual connections. Additionally, Lindsey collaborates closely with the district's therapy dog, utilizing its presence to enhance her initiatives and support students' emotional well-being.

JANUARY: Danielle Allen, 1st Grade Teacher at Detroit Merit Charter Academy in Detroit, MI

In her classroom, Danielle Allen emphasizes addressing each student's individual needs, fostering a supportive and engaging learning environment. By focusing on each student, she has seen tremendous pay off as all of her current students are reading at grade level and are also on the honor roll. Beyond academics, she cultivates a loving atmosphere by teaching yoga and box breathing, empowering students to express their emotions, while also ensuring they have necessary materials and even purchasing gifts for holidays, consistently striving to improve the lives of her students.

FEBRUARY: Echo Ranney, 2nd Grade Teacher at Reese Elementary School in Reese, MI

In her profession, Echo Ranney goes beyond academic instruction by instilling values like manners, patience, empathy, and leadership, making learning both enriching and enjoyable. Through innovative activities like "book tastings" set up as a fancy restaurant, she creates memorable learning experiences for her students while fostering a love for reading. Additionally, she introduced the Watch DOGS program to Reese Elementary, strengthening positive relationships between students and father figures, ultimately creating a sense of family within the classroom where students thrive under her.