Howell High School teacher Mary Villarreal has been selected as the 2018-2019 Howell Public Schools Teacher of the Year. In multiple nomination letters, Villarreal was described as a dedicated and passionate teacher who serves as a role model to her students and a mentor for her colleagues. Villarreal can often be found in her classroom after school helping both current and former students master the content of their current math class. She is also the co-director of Howell High School’s summer school program. Villarreal has been teaching at Howell Public Schools for 19 years.
Villarreal was surprised with the Teacher of the Year award by Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent and Jason Schrock, Howell High School principal on Thursday, Oct. 4. Several high school teachers and administrators, members of the district administrative team and Villarreal’s family were also present for the surprise.
“I am honored, there are so many teachers who could have totally have won this, said Villarreal. “I am definitely honored and touched.”
“Mrs. Villarreal is not only an amazing teacher to her students in the classroom, but she also gives her time and talent after school to current and former students. I have seen her help students after school, then help students in credit recovery and stay even longer to help former students who have come back and asked for help with their college math classes,” said Beth Rivera in her nomination letter.
“Mrs. Villarreal embodies everything that the Howell Teacher of the Year award stands for. She is exceptionally dedicated to her students and is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that her students reach their full potential,” said MacGregor. “Mrs. Villarreal is champion for all students. She strives to understand each student’s story and then capitalizes on their individual strengths.”
“If I only had one word to describe Mrs. Villarreal, it would be dedicated. She is constantly looking for ways to improve her teaching and to help better serve her students,” said Schrock. “Mrs. Villarreal makes videos of each of her lessons and posts them online so students can go back and review the day’s lesson. She makes these videos available to all students and staff to use. She is always willing to stay after school to help students who need extra support.”
A committee of 15 district stakeholders comprised of teachers, parents, central office administrators and a school board member met Oct. 2 to consider 74 Teacher of the Year nominees. After several hours of reviewing the nominations of these outstanding teachers, the committee selected Villarreal as this year’s winner. She will now represent Howell Public Schools in the Michigan Teacher of the Year competition.
The Howell Board of Education will honor Villarreal at a board meeting in February.