Utica Community Schools Names Teacher Of The Year
Utica Community Schools Names Teacher Of The Year
Posted on 02/26/2019
Mrs. Zawierucha outside of car with Dr. Johns and Mr. Elder

An elementary media specialist who is an educational leader in promoting coding and programming to K-12 students has been named the UCS Teacher of the Year.

Beacon Tree Elementary School Media Specialist Jacqueline Zawierucha will receive a two-year lease of a vehicle from Suburban Ford after being named Teacher of Year by Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns at a special surprise schoolwide celebration.

“Mrs. Zawierucha creates a strong foundation for essential computer science and digital citizenship skills in a fun and active environment where students explore the power of technology,” Dr. Johns said. “She is a teacher leader in every way, through providing professional development activities on integrating coding principles to her work as a community member and parent in developing the successful 2018 bond proposal.”

The surprise announcement was made a surprise event in front of her colleagues, all 900 Beacon Tree students and family. After the assembly, Zawierucha was invited back to the Suburban Ford in Sterling Heights where she chose a black 2019 EcoBoost Mustang Coupe.

As Teacher of the Year, Zawierucha represents a teaching staff of approximately 1,400 in Michigan’s second largest school district.

“UCS teachers are honored and respected for the daily difference they make in the lives of our students,” Dr. Johns said. “We are pleased to work in partnership with the Suburban Collection to elevate the teaching profession and our outstanding educators.”

“The Suburban Collection is proud to highlight the men and woman who dedicate so much of themselves to the successful development of the children in our communities,” said David Fischer, Jr., President and COO of The Suburban Collection. “We’re truly grateful that our business has allowed us the opportunity to show our gratitude over the past sixteen years.”

In addition to Sterling Heights/Utica, The Suburban Collection awarded vehicle leases to 2019 ‘Teacher of the Year Award’ winners from the Birmingham, Clarkston, Farmington/Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Novi, Troy and Waterford school districts.

Zawierucha, a 19-year educator, is an expert facilitator through Code.org, which established with Utica Community Schools as the first Michigan partnership to support the expansion of computer science instruction. She is co-chair of the UCS Elementary Media Specialists and has chaired committees on School Improvement, North Central Accreditation and Blue Ribbon Exemplary Schools.

She has created a unique MakerSpace environment in the media center, where students engage in hands-on activities that promote creativity and problem solving skills. She recently secured with her colleagues a $40,000 grant from the Community Telecommunications Network to create a mobile learning unit that provides coding resources that can be used by students at all 25 UCS elementary schools.

Zawierucha is also actively involved in the community, serving on the 2018 Citizens for Education Project which helped develop the district’s successful $155 million technology, safety and security and infrastructure bond issue in November. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation.