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The Detroit Red Wings are proud to recognize Keith Sulen as Michigan’s “Teacher of the Year” as voted by local students. This award is the culmination of a “Teacher of the Month” program, presented by Meijer, which was launched last fall. The program allowed students to nominate teachers across Michigan who were making a difference in their lives.  

With more than 10,000 votes cast, Keith Sulen, a 6th grade teacher at Grass Lake Middle School near Jackson, Mich., was given the honor. Sulen received the $4,000 grand price, as well as a virtual class visit from a Red Wings player.

“To be nominated and awarded Teacher of the Year is truly a dream come true,” Sulen said. “This is next best thing to actually being able to play for the Red Wings!”

Sulen said his love of science and teaching is what drove him to be an educator. He added that his passion comes from his students, who make him strive to be the best teacher he can be. To help engage students, Sulen created his own YouTube channel, allowing students to use various video applications like iMovie and TikTok to complete projects. He also uses the Red Wings’ Future Goals Program, designed to create fun and memorable learning experiences for children across Detroit.

“The kids love it — especially the ones who play hockey,” Sulen said. “The interactivity and the ability for students to progress at their own pace makes the Future Goals Program fun and rewarding.”

One of the students who voted for Sulen, Marielle, said she appreciates the fun, interactive classroom environment that Sulen creates. “I like the way he teaches things. We don’t always understand things at first, but he always finds a way to make them make sense to us. He’s really nice and a fun person, and a great teacher.”

Sulen said the Red Wings’ support over the last year for educators and the community at-large means a lot to him and his fellow educators.

“Thank you to the Detroit Red Wings and Meijer for recognizing these hardworking teachers,” Sulen said. “It’s truly appreciated and it feels good to be acknowledged.”

Other educators highlighted by this program include Teacher of the Month honorees:

  • Ashlee Berner, 3rd grade, Battle Creek area
  • Lauren Denis, 10th and 12th grade, Romulus High School
  • Andrea Kruger, 9th and 10th grade English, Academy of the Americas
  • Rachel Elson, 4th grade, Robbie Hall Parker Elementary
  • Josette Hejka, middle school PE and Health, Clippert Multicultual Academy

“Each of these teachers has made a positive impact on the lives of children across Michigan,” Kevin Brown, Detroit Red Wings and Tigers director of community impact, said. “Along with Meijer, we recognize their contributions in and outside of the classroom.”

To learn more about the Teacher of the Month program and the honorees, visit DetroitRedWings.com/Teacher. To learn more about the Red Wings’ community initiatives, visit DetroitRedWings.com.