To borrow a phrase from Gomer Pyle: “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”


Wattles’ Ms. Phillips reacts to the surprise news today that she had been selected the District’s Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Photo: Potter Productions

Congratulations to Troy’s Teachers of the Year! Surprise Announcements for Elementary, Middle and High School

By Kerry Birmingham, Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Troy School District

Three outstanding Troy School District teachers were surprised in their classrooms today with the news that they had been selected as Teachers of the Year out of a record 47 nominations received.

Baker’s Ms. Becker named the District’s Middle School Teacher of the Year. Photo: Potter Productions

Kimberly Phillips, 4th Grade Teacher at Wattles Elementary School, was named Elementary Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Phillips received three separate nominations from parents, colleagues and students, who all praised the impact she had on their lives. Those who nominated her for this honor said, “Mrs. Phillips has found her calling in life as teacher where she cares for her students as if they are her own children. She teaches them to strive for excellence, to love math and reading, and to respect each other. She truly brings out the best in her students!” And as one parent put it, “Mrs. Phillips is building a foundation for lifelong learning, and I am grateful my son has the opportunity to experience that through her teaching.” As her own family and colleagues looked on, Mrs. Phillips was presented with a $500 check from the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence today

Superintendent Dr. Richard Machesky surprises Wattles’ Ms. Phillips with the Elementary School Teacher of the Year announcement.  Photo: Potter Productions

Lindsey Becker, 7th Grade Math Teacher at Baker Middle School was named Middle School Teacher of the Year.  Mrs. Becker, who received two separate nominations, was praised for her energy and her passion to help students. She demonstrates that there are many ways to think mathematically and encourages students to understand the “why” behind a mathematical process rather than simply memorizing steps to reach the correct answer. Mrs. Becker has the courage to take risks and try new approaches and then assemble what has worked for her students into a very unique learning environment. As a parent said, “Mrs. Becker is helping our daughter develop skills she will use well beyond math class. Ally’s increased self-motivation, confidence and desire to learn is a gift that will continue to give throughout her TSD career and into her future. We are blessed to have her teaching Ally math and so much more!” Mrs. Becker’s family and colleagues were on hand as she was also presented with a $500 check from the Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence.


Athens’ Kristy Pierce is speechless after hearing that she had been selected the District’s High School Teacher of the Year, The Overall Teacher of the Year, and winner of a free car lease!  Photo: Potter Productions

 Kristy Pierce, Social Studies and Economics Teacher and Student Congress Advisor at Athens High School was named the High School Teacher of the Year AND Overall TSD Teacher of the Year. From students to parents to colleagues—the one thing that shined through most vividly in her nomination was her commitment to doing whatever it takes to help her students succeed. As a parent said, “The most important gift a teacher can give a parent is to truly get to know their child—as both a student and a person.  Kristy goes above and beyond to learn about every student—their strengths and weaknesses, their learning style, their goals and ambitions for the future. She uses that to nurture and encourage them, but also to help communicate and build partnerships with their parents.” But Kristy’s dedication goes beyond her classroom. As one of the advisors for Student Congress, Ms. Pierce’s leadership helped guide the students to raising more than $155,000 during Charity Week for the Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation. Her colleagues praised Ms. Pierce as “the kind of teacher you hope your own children will have as she demonstrates total commitment to them on a daily basis.” Because she was also awarded the Overall Teacher of the Year, Ms. Pierce also received a vehicle lease, courtesy of the Suburban Collection. Gary Allgeier from the Suburban Collection was on hand to present her with a car of her choice.

Athens’ Ms. Pierce with her free lease for being selected “Overall teacher of the Year” in Troy School District. Photo: Potter Productions

“We have so many phenomenal teachers in the Troy School District and out of all of our nominations from students, parents and colleagues, these three rose to the top,” said Superintendent Richard Machesky, Ed. D. “They each do a tremendous job of building a world class learning environment in their classrooms and it’s clear that they have a tremendous impact on those around them. Kristy, Kimberly and Lindsey bring with them a passion for learning that they pass on to their students. We are extremely proud to have them represent the Troy School District as our Outstanding Teachers of the Year.”

Thirty-five other outstanding TSD teachers were nominated by parents, students and colleagues. Each of them was singled out for the dedication and commitment they show every day for their profession. The other nominees, all of whom will be honored at a Board of Education meeting in April include:

Adam Burns (Athens)

Amanda Hazergian (Schroeder)

Anne Drogosch (Smith)

Betsy Kennedy (Baker)

Brandon Preblich (Athens)

Cindy Christiansen (Larson)

Collette Carlin (Hill)

Dawn Hayes (Athens)

Emily Beski (IA East)

Erica Conklin (Barnard)

Giovanna Marulli (Hamilton)

Gwen Simon (Barnard)

Harriet Clark (Troy High)

Jackie Losh (Schroeder) *

Jackie Skinner (Wass) *

Janet Schoon (Costello)

Janice Boyer (Hamilton)

Jennifer Deward (Leonard)

Julie Dagenais (Costello) *

Julie Marjamaa (Costello)

Katherine Grabowski (Larson)

Kimberly Phillips (Wattles) *

Kristen Marcaccio (Costello)

Kristy Pierce (Athens)

Laurie Bussell (Bemis/Martell)

Lindsey Becker (Baker) *

Lindsey Gerbe (Barnard)

Melinda Kaspari (Hill)

Melissa Geeraerts (Hamilton)

Melven Moffett (Leonard)

Nadeen Brown (Leonard) *

Nicole Given (Martell) *

Patrick Scott (Morse)

Scott Binford (Martell)

Shelley Hakala (Athens)

Susan Baran (Smith)

Suzanne Cowie (Barnard)

Trevor Potts (Larson)


*Received more than one nomination

The three winning teachers have been sent to Oakland County for inclusion in the county-wide Teacher of the Year competition. Nomination packets are available upon request.