#proudMIeducator: 2019-20 Michigan Teacher of the Year Cara Lougheed of Rochester Community Schools

I think I wanted to become a teacher
first at probably about the age of four. My little brother was born and I
realized I could make him do things. So that’s probably not very inspirational,
but, teaching my brother colors and shapes, and then later my sister, really
sparked the love of teaching and learning for me. Being around Mrs. Lougheed, makes me want to become a teacher because she’s so passionate about her
job and helping people and she always does it with a smile and she just makes
everyone smile around her. I’ve never seen her make anyone mad or sad. It’s phenomenal to have a leader on staff like Cara, who has such a vested interest
in mentoring new teachers. She’s done that within our school and that’s always been a passion for her. My student teaching experience was hands-down the best experience ever because it was with Cara Lougheed at Soney Creek High School. I can’t say enough great things about her as a mentor. She made me feel like like
she was speaking my language about wanting to help kids. So it’s up to us as educators to make it new, to make it innovative, to try new things, to fail at
some things, and then do better. When I was a new teacher I had ideas about what I thought was important and what I very quickly discovered it wasn’t the content,
it wasn’t the structure, it wasn’t the planning, it was the relationships with my students that was the thing that was absolutely paramount more so than any of those other things, and that’s how you grow professionally, when you actually figure out that the job is the students and nothing more. Cara represents what’s great about public education in Michigan. We’re so proud of her hard work and her dedication to students. And moreover the love that she shows her students every day. When a student gets something that
they haven’t gotten before and they have that ‘A-Ha!’ moment, it’s like a form of
euphoria, it’s amazing and it makes you feel like your work matters. But mostly with Cara her passion is helping to develop new teachers to sustain and improve the profession. The reason I work with new and young teachers and what I find so rewarding about it is, it might actually be a little selfish because I think you get to a point in your career where you’re not really sure what you’re supposed to do next, and so to be able to leave a legacy of young people in the profession who learned from you, that’s I think why it’s important to me. To make sure that the work that I did when I was in my classroom not only mattered when I was there, but that maybe it matters going forward in other people’s classrooms. She was just so supportive, and she highlighted all the things that I did well that I didn’t even realize were “teacher things,” and she just made me feel like, ‘You got this!’ Like, she’s
just there for me in a real sense where it wasn’t just fluff, it was genuine support. It’s an extraordinary honor for Stoney
Creek to host and to have the Michigan Teacher of the Year on our faculty. Being named Michigan’s Teacher of the Year is an honor, but really being in the
classroom is a reward in and of itself, and being here at Stoney Creek. I am blessed to work with so many great educators in this school district. Cara is representative of all of those folks, but she’s merely a representative of a lot of
great work that’s going on here at Rochester Community Schools. My name is Katie Antrup, and I am a proud Michigan educator. I’m Dr. Robert Shaner, and I’m
a proud Michigan educator. My name is Dr. Cathryn Skedel, and I am a proud Michigan educator. My name is Cara Lougheed. I am the 2019-2020 Michigan Teacher of the Year, and I am a proud Michigan educator.

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