Negaunee Public Schools fifth-grade teacher recognized for making school a place where students want to be June 3, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Kyle Saari, fifth grade teacher at Negaunee Middle School, was featured on a recent statewide series about innovation in Michigan classrooms, the BRIGHT series, for making school a place where students want to be.

“Educators have worked tirelessly to lift students and families across Michigan through the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “Kyle makes learning fun for his students, he pushes his students to new limits while giving them the power of choice. The work that Kyle provides will move us forward to a stronger educational system for student success.”

Michigan is home to so many outstanding educators. The new podcast and blog series from Michigan Virtual — BRIGHT: Stories of Hope & Innovation in Michigan Classrooms — features inspirational Michigan educators known for their innovative approach to learning, what their classrooms look like, how these changes impact students, and what advice they have for fellow teachers looking to try something new.

“We want school to be a place that students want to be, not a place where they have to be,” Saari reflects. “I make sure that my students feel empowered to make their own choices so that they can find their passion. I believe that comfort leads to confidence. When there is respect, students are going to share their experiences and stories with me.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on the opportunities for improvement in our educational system, and the perspectives highlighted in the BRIGHT series will help propel Michigan students and communities forward.

By discovering new ways to grow, Michigan Virtual is committed to learning from local educational leaders and making a difference in education. This means learning how best to leverage face-to-face, blended, and online learning innovations to meet the needs of everyone involved: teachers, students, parents, and schools alike.

“Teachers are working harder than ever adapting their methods to meet students’ needs, and they can look to Kyle and educators like him as we navigate the new normal,” continued Fitzpatrick.

Read and listen to Kyle’s BRIGHT series feature, and see the full series of interviews. For more information about Michigan Virtual, visit www.MichiganVirtual.org.

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