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Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - Alumna named Outstanding Teacher of the Year for L'Anse Creuse
By Rachel Zynel, contributing writer

OU alumna Claudia Dichtel (left) earned the 2013 L’Anse Creuse Schools Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.
As part of the Macomb County Outstanding Teacher of the Year program, Oakland University alumna Claudia Dichtel has been awarded with the 2013 award for the L’Anse Creuse School District.

The 2001 School of Education and Human Services graduate was recently honored for her hard work and commitment to education at a ceremony with 11 other teachers at the Harry L. Wheeler Community Center in Clinton Township.

Dichtel was nominated by her peers at Donald J. Yacks Elementary School, where she teaches a split class of third and fourth grade students. 
 
“Claudia Dichtel demonstrates an amazing enthusiasm and commitment for teaching,” Yacks principal Betty Kozma said in her nomination letter. “She continually goes beyond the expected to provide the best possible experiences for her students.”

This is the first year the L’Anse Creuse schools have participated in this contest, under the direction of new superintendent Jackie Johnston. 

“Everybody in the district works very hard,” Dichtel said. “We never wanted to single any one person out.”

Dichtel has worked hard to challenge her students academically. She has implemented many new programs for her students and taken active leadership roles to help promote student success. Along with her many other positions, she is the co-chair of both the student government and reading committee, and the coordinator of her school’s pollution and recycling groups. She has also been integral in bringing technology into the classroom at Yacks, incorporating online software such as IXL Math into her lessons.

“Claudia’s high expectations encourage and develop student growth,” Kozma said. “She is extremely positive with parents, students and staff at all times.”

Most recently, her students sent cards to children in Beaumont’s pediatric oncology unit and care packages for the soldiers in Iraq, showing her strong commitment to community outreach. 

“I have such a passion for teaching,” she said. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. When I was young my dad bought me a white board so I could teach my dolls what I’d learned in school.” 

Dichtel has been teaching for 11 years. After originally teaching middle school, she was transferred to elementary where she believes she has found her place.

“I truly believe everything happens for a reason,” she said of the switch. “I love teaching, and when I see my students’ faces it just brightens my day.”

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