Vlad Borza was named the 2013 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Borza teaches sixth and seventh grade science at Godfrey-Lee Middle School in Grand Rapids. He was recognized for a rain garden he and his students built at the school.
Borza earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and was the manager of the University of Michigan Neuromotor Behavior Laboratory, which focuses on medical physics and brain research. He said he felt a calling to teach science and applied to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellow program at Grand Valley. He was named a Fellow in 2011 and was hired by Godfrey-Lee in 2012.
“I am honored to win this award after teaching for such a short time,” said Borza. “I am so proud of my students for their hard work on the rain garden and dedication to environmental stewardship.”
Borza said about 120 students participated in the project which included classroom instruction and activities inside and outside the classroom. He said his students are now learning about native plants and invasive species as they make plans to build a greenhouse.