Alum Tracy Horodyski named 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year

Alum Tracy Horodyski named 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year

Tracy Horodyski, a GVSU alum, was recognized on May 19 as the 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year (MTOY) after being selected from 178 nominees through the Michigan Department of Education. Horodyski received both her B.S. and M.Ed. in Elementary Education from GVSU. She currently works as a reading interventionist and literacy coach at Zinser Elementary in Kenowa Hills Public Schools.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston describes Horodyski by saying: “Tracy is an extraordinary representative of our Michigan teachers and the positive impact they make on our schoolchildren. She is a living, breathing model of best practices, especially when it comes to child literacy”.

Horodyski had originally planned a career in dancing and physical therapy, but recognized her potential as an educator during her sophomore year at GVSU. “I was teaching routines to my dance team, swimming lessons at the YMCA, and aerobics classes on campus – all while taking my college classes. While I had this ‘a-ha’ moment, I also realized that this shouldn’t be surprising: I was born into a family of educators. They had always been my number one supporters.”

Horodyski believes the keys to being a quality educator are to focus more on your students instead of yourself, to truly listen to your students, and to ignite a passion for learning.

As the MTOY, Horodyski receives a non-voting seat at the Michigan State Board of Education during its regular monthly meetings and will engage in the discussions on moving Michigan's system of education forward. In recognition of her award, Meemic Insurance Company will also present Kenowa Hills Public Schools with $1,000 to be used for the advancement of education. Meemic will also provide up to $10,000, through the MDE, for Horodyski’s MTOY-related travel during her year-long tenure, along with the opportunity to blog at

To learn more about the MTOY program and award, visit


This article is adapted from a press release by Martin Ackley from the Michigan Department of Education. For more information contact: Bill DiSessa - 517-335-6649.

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Page last modified May 20, 2016