ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Rochester Hills high school teacher who is described as "inspiring" and "high-caliber" has been named the Michigan Teacher of the year for 2019-2020.
Cara Lougheed, who teaches at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills, began her teaching career more than two decades ago. She taught at Rochester Hill School in 1998 and was a founding member at Stoney Creek in 2002.
The Michigan Department of Education surprised Lougheed with the award during an all-school assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
“Hopefully this means I can represent my friends and teachers across the state. I can learn a lot and lift up their voices. I want to encourage more people to be teachers. I want to uplift the profession,” Lougheed said.
“Ms. Lougheed has dedicated her life to helping our students get ahead. Throughout her more than two decades of teaching, she has touched countless lives and inspired her students and colleagues," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a release. "Michigan is a great state because of the dedicated teachers like Cara who work tirelessly to make sure their students get a great public education. I’m proud to congratulate her on her outstanding service to our state, and am committed to making sure Cara and teachers everywhere are treated with the respect they deserve.”
Lougheed has taught multiple levels of English throughout the years, as well as courses in U.S. and World History. Outside of the classroom, she has been a Social Studies teacher leader, building activities director, district union representative and a delegate for the National Education Association.
“Ms. Lougheed has an incredible ability to forge meaningful relationships with those around her, whether it’s students in her English class, or college students she’s mentoring to become our next generation of educators,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said in a release. “She cares about their long-term success, both inside and outside the classroom, and provides them with the tools necessary to be lifelong learners. She is an inspirational educator who truly embodies what it means to put students first.”
Lougheed was selected from more than 400 teachers nominated for the award in the fall of 2018. It was narrowed twice, and she was one of the state's 10 regional teachers of the year in April.
With the selection as the state's teacher of the year, Lougheed will lead the state's Teacher Leadership Advisory Committee, and serve as an advocate and spokesperson for the teachers across Michigan. She will also discuss how to mov the state's education system forward, hold a seat at the State Board of Education meetings and serve on Whitmer's Educator Advisory Council.
“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a year-long journey of learning, leading and collaboration for Cara Lougheed and Meemic Insurance Company is honored to be a part of it,” said Pamela R. Harlin, Director of the Meemic Foundation. “We are proud of the transformational and inspiring work being done by Cara and the Regional Teachers of the Year, as well as countless teachers in classrooms across the state. Michigan’s hard-working educators are changing lives every day and their contributions to our schools, communities, and state as a whole, deserve to be recognized time and again.”