UCS honors Teachers of the Year
UCS honors Teachers of the Year
Posted on 03/24/2017
Teachers with their awards and Dr. JohnsThree Utica Community Schools educators were honored for driving instruction every day in Utica Community Schools.

For one, that honor was literal, thanks to the generous donation of a leased car of her choice from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights.

The district recently recognized three UCS Teachers of the Year at a special celebration on March 22.

“In honoring our teachers of the year, we also honor what they represent in our district - a commitment to excellence that can literally span generations, the caring and dedication that provide a solid foundation for success, and a focus on a high level of student achievement and exemplary schools,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said.

The 2017 UCS Teachers of the Year are:

-Zita Burton, from Havel Elementary – Overall Utica Community Schools Teacher of the Year and Elementary Teacher of the Year;
-Nicole West, from Jeannette Junior High School – Junior High School Teacher of the Year;
-Scott Spry, of the Utica Center for Science and Industry – High School Teacher of the Year;

Local businesses and community members joined UCS administrators at the March 22 awards program.

As part of the celebration, Burton was recognized as the overall Teacher of the Year for Utica Community Schools.

Burton has taught upper elementary grades at Havel Elementary since 1977. She was recently named the 2016 Elementary Economics Educator of the year by the Michigan Council on Economic Education.

In addition to a 40-year teaching career, Burton attended Utica Community Schools as a student, graduating from Stevenson High School.

“Mrs. Burton has impacted literally generations of students through her commitment to excellence, enthusiasm, deep roots in our community, and continued dedication to children and their success,” Dr. Johns said.

She was surprised with a free vehicle lease of a new car courtesy of Suburban Ford. Her choice was a Mustang.

“Our program of rewarding outstanding teachers is our way of showing our gratitude to the dedicated individuals who contribute so much to the development of our children,” said David Fischer, Jr., General Manager of The Suburban Collection.

He added: “We feel very fortunate that our organization has been able to provide a special thank you for the past fifteen years for the exemplary efforts of teachers in the communities in which we do business.”