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Announcing the 2020 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year

UMS and the DTE Energy Foundation are pleased to honor Thurston High School English teacher Rachel Bomphray as the 2020 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes and celebrates educators who value the importance of arts education and create a culture for the arts to flourish in their school communities.

Ms. Bomphray has worked over the past four years to grow a poetry program at Thurston High School, organizing opportunities for her students to work with the University of Michigan on collaborative creating writing sessions. Using the creative arts as a catalyst, she organizes trips to the U-M campus where her students get to work on projects with U-M students, learn to attend performances with a critical eye, and imagine their future as college students.

Ms. Bomphray goes above and beyond her call of duty, not only helping her students learn writing skills but developing the whole person and widening their view of the world, themselves, and their place in it.

Bomphray was nominated through a public nomination process. As part of the award, UMS will provide complimentary tickets and transportation for Ms. Bomphray to bring one class to a UMS School Day Performance next season, when in-person performances and school field trips are expected to return, additional complimentary tickets to a mainstage UMS performance, and a $200 award honorarium. UMS will also work with Ms. Bomphray to bring a UMS touring artist to Thurston for a class visit or school assembly.

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Announcing the 2019 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year

UMS and the DTE Energy Foundation are pleased to honor Scarlett Middle School band teacher Caroline Fitzgerald as the 2019 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year!

The award recognizes and celebrates educators who value the importance of arts education and create a culture for the arts to flourish in their school communities. Ms. Fitzgerald’s focus on the arts has extended beyond her work in the music classroom with a passion that permeates throughout the entire school, the Ann Arbor Public School system, and the greater community. She demonstrates an incredible investment in her students and believes that through music she can support her students becoming confident, self-assured young adults. Her work at Scarlett highlights the important role of music instruction in supporting students’ overall engagement and academic success.

Ms. Fitzgerald was nominated through a public nomination process. As part of the award, UMS will provide complimentary tickets and transportation for Ms. Fitzgerald to bring one class to a UMS School Day Performance next season, additional complimentary tickets to a mainstage UMS performance, and a $200 award honorarium. UMS will also work with Ms. Fitzgerald to bring a UMS touring artist to Scarlett for a class visit or school assembly.

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At Ford Honors Program in 2013

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Photo: Mark Gjukich Photography.

In this photo, our 2013 DTE Educator and School of the Year Matt Kazmierski of Ypsilanti Public Schools and Laura Machida (music) and Meredith Giltner (art) of Carpenter Elementary School receive their awards. Each year, UMS asks the southeastern Michigan community to help us choose the awardees. We want to recognize educators and learning communities doing great work integrating the arts throughout the K-12 curriculum. The award is presented at our annual Ford Honors Gala, which benefits our education and community engagement programs.

This season’s gala takes place on Sunday, March 30 and will also honor Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with the UMS Distinguished Artist Award.

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