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Tag Archive | "WGVU TV 35"

Cedar Trails teacher wins “Cool Teacher” award


Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

N-Cool-teacher-Graf2Mary Graf, a first grade teacher at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs, was named the latest teacher to receive the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award. WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23, which also happened to be Graf’s birthday. Graf has been teaching first graders for 37 of her 38 teaching years, all having been in Cedar Springs.

Cedar Trails Elementary Principal Mike Duffy, cited Graf as a “Master Teacher always growing, learning, and looking for ways to improve educational techniques for her students.”

Sienna Wolfe nominated her teacher, Mrs. Graf, for the award because “she is kind, caring, and makes learning fun! She even allows us to dance in the classroom as one way of expressing ideas.” Several other students from the class also submitted letters of support in naming her a “Cool Teacher.”

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

Bradley Gordon, WGVU Marketing and Special Events Coordinator noted, “We receive several hundred applications each month from our 2.1 million viewers, within 28 counties. A committee comprised of educators and other professionals from GVSU judge the nominees based on the students evidence of learning. Just 30 teachers, from grades kindergarten thru eighth, are selected each school year. Graf met all the criteria and had strong support from her students.”

Gordon and WGVU photographer Zack Limiewski video-recorded the celebration and various activities of Graf interacting with classroom students. A twice-a-day airing of this recording will begin around mid-May on WGVU TV 35 and TV 52 as well as on the website WGVU.org.

Graf and Wolfe were presented with four vouchers each from Amtrak for a trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago. On May 7, WGVU will host an Education Celebration with a dinner and award presentations to be held at the Eberhard Center honoring the 2014-15 winning “Cool Teachers.”

When Graf was asked what she enjoyed about teaching, she responded, “I love the enthusiasm that first graders have for learning. Every new lesson is a new adventure for them! First grade is such an amazing grade to teach because they are just discovering the incredible world of reading and writing. I feel so lucky to be part of this journey with them. To see the pleasure and joy on their faces after they read a great book or write a new story is so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have the best job in the world! I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

The “Cool Teacher Award” promotes the positive and good things that teachers are doing with our youth. This program is an example of WGVU’s mission to provide educational, informational, and entertaining programs and events to the West Michigan Community as a service of Grand Valley State University.

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