Top Teachers

Top Teachers

Do you know an extraordinary teacher who is currently making
a positive difference in the lives of their students? Or do
you work with a teacher who has a special knack for
encouraging and inspiring students? Show them your

Nominate a Top Teacher today!

Who are Top Teachers?

Top Teachers are the stars of our educational system. They touch students' lives in ways they'll never forget.
For some students, a teacher's patience and encouragement may have given them the boost they needed to tackle
a tough math course. For others, a teacher's enthusiasm may have helped them uncover a passion for
writing. For still others, a teacher's confidence in them may have inspired them to go to college.

In any case, Top Teachers are known for performing at the A+ level. They gladly put in the extra effort to help
students move along the path to becoming successful adults. Seeing their students reach new
levels of accomplishment gives them great pride. Let's show these dedicated teachers how much we appreciate
their commitment to giving our community's children a world-class education.

Teacher of the Year Criteria Weighting

Teacher of the Year Guidelines and Process

Jackson Community Foundation Teacher's Fund

Dr. Clinton Bartholomew

Dr. Clinton Bartholomew

Jackson Preparatory & Early College

It’s not the $15,000 zebrafish hatchery that makes Dr. Clinton Bartholomew’s science classes so remarkable at Jackson Preparatory & Early College. Or the fact that the instructor is involved in several extracurricular activities designed to keep students engaged during and after school.

The real gem behind these activities is the enthusiastic teacher who made them possible; an educator whose interest in science and technology is matched only by his passion for teaching.

“My passion is to share the joy of scientific discovery with my students, from those life-changing ‘ah ha’ moments, to the mental discipline necessary for scientific thinking,” said Dr. Bartholomew, who spent over a decade as an academic scientist before earning his teaching certificate and master’s degree in education from Michigan State University. “My ultimate goal is to help students develop the skills necessary to apply what they learn to everyday life.”

Congratulations Dr. Clinton!

Paul Bickel

Paul Bickel

Western High School

A Western High School graduate, Paul Bickel returned in 2002 as the school’s band director. Since then, the Panther band has swelled from 130 students to 180 students.

Bickel also teaches sixth-grade beginning brass and assists with the seventh- and eighth-grade bands. In all, he teaches 250 students and sees over 400 students daily.

“Paul does well balancing his work between our middle school and high school, working with two sets of administrators, teachers, counselors and parents,” said Sue VanRiper, high school principal. “He’s a respected educator in Western School District and across Jackson County.”

Congratulations Paul!

Marnie Hade

Marnie Hade

Northwest High School

Several years ago, teaching partners Marnie Hade and Ron Woodruff created a comprehensive communications arts curriculum at Northwest High School. Then Hade cannonballed into the project-based learning pool to teach the new classes.

“Wrapping my mind around using individualized learning in every class I taught was daunting,” said Hade, who teaches yearbook, introduction to broadcasting, advanced broadcasting (Mountie Nation Station), digital media/photography and videography. Hade also was named a Top Teacher in 2014.

“Marnie brings learning to life,” said Principal Scott Buchler. “Practically every day you’ll see her students lugging their cameras and mics, interviewing staff or students, taking pictures, videotaping events or collaborating on ideas.”

Congratulations Marnie!

Tracey Ledford

Tracey Ledford

Northwest Early Elementary School

As first graders enter Tracey Ledford’s classroom, little hands reach out to touch the orange furry body and yellow silky mustache of Dr. Seuss’ Lorax on the door. Inside, truffula trees with colorful feathery tufts brighten students’ tables. They’re signs that imagination and fun happen every day in Ledford’s classroom.

“I love working with children, having an impact on their lives and seeing the excitement of discovery,” said Ledford, who believes children learn best when they’re having fun.

Ledford, who has taught for 27 years, uses individualized learning materials that match her students’ interests and needs. She adapts assignments, uses Daily 5, which helps students make responsible learning and social choices, Daily News, Expanded Expression Tool to improve literacy and writing, Balanced Literacy for phonics and whole language concepts, and Touch Point Math.

Congratulations Tracey!

Kimberly Shore

Kimberly Shore

Western High School

When Kim Shore was a young girl, she would line up Cabbage Patch dolls and Teddy bears in the basement of her family’s home and enthusiastically teach them everything from the ABC’s to penmanship. Today, the Western High School instructor is still teaching, but her students are freshmen through seniors who reciprocate her enthusiasm.

“I’ve always loved helping others; it’s just second nature. For me, that passion best expresses itself in teaching,” said Shore, 41, who teaches AP psychology, psychology, and sociology. She also serves as student council adviser and works with students on humanitarian causes such as providing backpacks to India and shoes to flood victims, among activities.

According to Principal Sue VanRiper, Shore’s enthusiasm is contagious. “Kim cares, and her students reciprocate that. She has a knack for building strong relationships and bringing out the best in everyone she interacts with.” Students who take Shore’s psychology class often end up taking her AP psychology because her passion resonates and students are excited to increase their knowledge, VanRiper added.

Congratulations Kimberly!

2017 Top Teacher Winners

Quickly find the profile of our
2017 Top Teacher winners with this

Dr. Clinton Bartholomew
(Teacher of the Year)

Paul Bickel
Marnie Hade
Tracey Ledford
Kimberly Shore

2016 Top Teacher Winners

Karen Brockie
(Teacher of the Year)

Jonell Hasselback-Zenker
Joel Shaner
Abby Tanner
Jessica Trefry

2014 Top Teacher Winners

Andy Runkel
(Teacher of the Year)

Todd Anderson
Marnie Hade
Eric Johnson
Melissa Moffitt

2013 Top Teacher Winners

Sue Crawford (Teacher of the Year)

Steven Brattain

Stephen Doerr

Michelle DuBois

Colleen Stapley