We had more than a little trouble narrowing down the Wyandotte High School Teacher of the Year voting process down to one person. We have now decided to honor both of them as two of the most deserving teachers to earn the award in the history of Wyandotte Public Schools. When students who have graduated from this place over the last 7 years or so think of Wyandotte High School, these two names are at the top of the list when it comes to people who made an impact on their life. They have long been favorites among the student body and it is long overdue that we recognize them for the impact they continue to have. It is our honor to introduce one of the High School Teachers of the year: Mrs. Dana Morisset.
Dana Morisset came to us in 2013 and was immediately one of the most popular teachers on campus. She teaches all things math. She has taught middle school math, Algebra I, II, and III, Geometry, and now serves as the special education director for the middle and high schools.
The high school principal, Matt Robertson, said “I love having Dana in our district. She is an instant boost to the culture. Her personality, ingenuity, and firm convictions when it comes to student behavior are an instant value add for our staff and students. She is an out-of-the-box thinker who can troubleshoot difficult situations and I, for one, benefit from what she brings to the table. Her use of technology in the classroom makes her constantly on demand from other districts who need training and instruction on how best to do that. You won’t find creative math lessons like she uses anywhere else. We are blessed to have her in both of the roles she fulfills for us.”
When those who nominated Mrs. Morisset were asked why, they said things like, “Mrs. Morisset might be the best teacher in the entire area. You won’t find a teacher who has more personality, spunk, and charisma and yet she teaches MATH!! Can you imagine someone who can bring a subject like that to life? And yet she finds creative ways to engage students with humor, technology, and creativity like no other. Every student who has come through these halls will tell you what an impact she has had on their lives. She has a lasting impact, well after high school on these students. One of the questions I like to ask myself is “if everyone taught like me, how effective would this school be?” It’s a challenge to think that way, but when applying that to Mrs. Morisset, I can answer it without hesitation: “this place would be the kind of place where students love to show up to every class, anticipate what new and creative thing they might learn, and aren’t afraid to be themselves, no matter how crazy that might be!” She finds ways to discover the gold in each student and makes connections, no matter the obstacles in her way. I wish I had a math teacher like that.” Others said, “This year, in addition to her duties as a math teacher, she has also taken on the role of special education director. In this role, she has created a culture of excitement, responsibility and service and has led the way in revolutionizing the way we do special education in this district. She leads the staff, para-professionals, and special education teachers and has shown genuine talent and hard work in that role.”
When asked what her greatest contributions were, they said, “In addition to her superior teaching skills, Mrs. Morisset is also a staff leader. She has hosted a number of breakout sessions for professional development days that are always memorable. This year she hosted one on using Google Sites that was transformational, not just for me, but for many that I talked to. She is extremely helpful, personable, and sitting under her tutelage in PD, I can see why students find her so engaging.” They also said, “in her role as special education director, helps other teachers and advises when it comes to modification and trouble-shooting in that area.”
What makes Mrs. Morisset special? One nominator said, “Mrs. Morisset has the most important traits that it takes to be a teacher. She is entreatable, available, and makes immediate connections with kids. Students know they can come to her and they don’t hesitate to ask questions. This is where her perfect balance of discipline and accountability on the one hand and helpfulness and approachability on the other comes into play.” We also had a unique situation this year for the teacher of the year process. We had a parent intentionally email administration to nominate her without any prompting whatsoever. The parent said, “This letter is for consideration regarding Teacher of the year. I have raised four children over the last 35 years and have never encountered a teacher that has been as special as Mrs. Morisset. She has been instrumental in helping my Grandson progress as much as he has in his education. She has been entirely selfless in helping him throughout his education by having the focus to make him better in every subject he has had, and put the extra time in that he has needed to grow and mature. She has sacrificed her own personal time to tutor him during her lunch time daily, even though he was not enrolled in this current year with her. Her phone, help, and advice is always available to him and myself anytime it is needed. She has an enormous heart for her students well being, and it would be a shame not to see her recognized for that. I’m not even sure how the teacher of the year procedure is processed, but if this will help in nominating or recognizing her in any form please accept this letter as such.”
To one of the most special teachers out there, we are happy to celebrate Mrs. Dana Morisset as a Wyandotte High School Teacher of the Year for the 2021/2022 school year.