Lawmaker calls on students, families to recognize inspiring educators

TAYLOR, Mich. — Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D–Taylor) today announced his “Thank a Teacher” recognition effort as part of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11. The initiative empowers students, families and school staff to identify an inspiring teacher in their district.

“Teachers are some of our earliest sources of encouragement and support, however, we don’t always have a chance to say thanks,” Sen. Hopgood said. “This initiative gives anyone the opportunity to let one of their current or former teachers know how much they mean to them and the community they serve.”

Anyone can submit a “Thank a Teacher” form through the TeA+chers for Michigan website, These recognized teachers will be featured weekly on Sen. Hopgood’s Facebook page.

“When I was a student, the most influential people in my life were teachers. They taught me that hard work pays off and challenged me to dream big,” Sen. Hopgood said. “It is time for our state to show that we value their work each and every day.”

“Thank a Teacher” comes on the heels of Sen. Hopgood’s release of the TeA+chers for Michigan education plan — the first comprehensive investment in the state’s nearly 100,000 K-12 teachers in more than a decade. Between 1996 and 2016, new teacher certifications plummeted 39 percent, raising serious concerns about Michigan’s ability to prepare students for college and careers.

The TeA+chers for Michigan 22-bill package, which includes Senate Bills 25, 724-725 and 764-782, aims to reinvest in teachers. The proposed legislation includes measures to reverse the decline in teacher certifications, boost the number of teachers in economically disadvantaged districts, retain talent and address other challenges faced in education today.

Sen. Hopgood recently held the first of several town halls about the legislation in Taylor. Additional town halls will take place this spring during National Teacher Appreciation Week.