HURON COUNTY (WJRT) (5/9/2019) - An Ubly High School teacher was named the best in Michigan and received a $10,000 prize.
Stewart Kieliszewski won the Michigan Lottery's Educator of the Year award for 2019. He teaches Earth science, biology, mechatronics and media for eighth through 12th graders, along with coaching track.
Kieliszewski received the award Wednesday at the Ubly schools honors assembly.
"I'm just awestruck. I can't believe out of all the teachers in Michigan that I was selected for this award," he said. "It's a great honor. I'm about six feet tall, but walking out of here tonight, I'm going to feel like I'm eight feet tall."
Students and fellow teachers say Kieliszewski provides his students with fun, hands-on learning experiences, including robotics programs and raising funds to buy a 3-D printer.
Ubly Junior High and High School Principal Jeremy Warner said Kieliszewski deserves the statewide recognition for his 30 years of experience in teaching.
"He has built the robotics and mechatronics programs from scratch in our school, continues to coach athletics, and is a highly effective teacher," Warner said. "It seems that one person wouldn't be able to accomplish all these things, but Stew is always at the school working with students and parents. It is very common for him to be here into the late hours of the night, on weekends and even snow days."
More than 500 educators from across the state were nominated for an Excellence in Education weekly award during the fifth year of the program. Kieliszewski is among 34 teachers to win a weekly award.
He said his favorite part of teaching is "working with young people and being around all the energy that they have. My days are never the same. Each day brings new experiences and challenges."
He said his students motivate him to do his best every day.
"I feel it's my duty to provide as many educational experiences as possible for my students. Although our school is in a rural area, I feel it's important to provide my students the same experiences that get in larger schools."