June 14, 2016

Dr. Mridha Teacher of the Year Award

Sara Weiss

2016 Dr. Mridha Teacher of the Year Award


DSC_0339-sara-weiss-web-lrgThe Mridha family established a foundation in 2010 to recognize and celebrate excellent teachers and to honor the members of the Mridha family who were educators. The Teacher of the Year receives a $750 grant from the Mridha Foundation that may be used for continuing education, professional development and educational research.


This year, eleven (11) outstanding Saginaw educators were nominated by their school districts for the Mridha Foundation Teacher of the Year for 2016. Sara Weiss of Freeland High/Middle School was selected as this year’s honoree.


Sara teaches seventh through twelfth graders in Freeland’s self-contained program for students with Cognitive Impairments and was nominated by Traci Smith, Renee Wulff, Janelle Buchalski and Matt Cairy from Freeland Community School District. In the group’s letter of nomination they shared that because of the age range that Sara teaches, she has the ability to work with a 7th grader who needs help with science one moment, and then she skillfully shifts to working with a 12th grader who is focusing on transitional living skills in the next. The group said that Sara uses questioning strategies to encourage her students to think critically while supporting the curriculum, and this promotes her students to a higher level of discovery and learning.


Sara also believes that she has a responsibility to help her students become more involved in not only their school, but in the Freeland community. Her positive attitude and encouragement spills into her interactions with her students, and she prompts and encourages them to be more involved in activities that they may never have attempted. These activities have helped promote a broader perspective for her students, and create an efficacy within them to become increasingly involved in ways they may never have considered. The group shared that Sara’s positive attitude, contagious spirit and willingness to help her students demonstrate their best personal self, both in and out of the classroom, are all reasons why she is an exemplary teacher who inspires her students to reach beyond their expectations.