Grand Rapids – A reading interventionist and literacy coach at an elementary school near Grand Rapids was named Friday as Michigan’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year.

Tracy Horodyski, who teaches at Zinser Elementary School in the Kenowa Hills Public Schools, was honored during a surprise visit from state school Superintendent Brian Whiston. Horodyski, who has 16 years of classroom experience, was chosen from 178 nominees.

She has taught all subjects at Kenowa Hills since 2001 and taught elementary math and science at Grand Rapids Public Schools in 1999-2000.

This year, Horodyski adopted a new, dual role as reading interventionist and literacy coach.

“As a teachers’ teacher who educates students and other teachers, Tracy is an extraordinary representative of our Michigan teachers and the positive impact they make on our schoolchildren,” Whiston said in a statement.

The district will receive $1,000 through the Meemic Insurance Co., which also will provide up to $10,000 to fund travel related to Horodyski’s tenure as Teacher of the Year.

Horodyski also will receive a non-voting seat at the regular monthly meetings of the State Board of Education for the next year.

The other finalists for the award were another Kenowa Hills teacher, Delia Bush, who teaches fifth-grade at Alpine Elementary, and two instructors from the Utica Community Schools – Annette Christiansen, a teacher at Stevenson High School, and Cassandra Joss, a third-grade teacher at Burr Elementary.

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