It was a pleasant surprise when a Howell teacher’s classroom was interrupted this week.

On Thursday, Howell High School teacher Mary Villarreal was selected as the 2018-2019 Howell Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Villarreal was surprised in her classroom with the award by Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent and Jason Schrock, Howell High School principal. Several high school teachers and administrators, members of the district administrative team and Villarreal’s family were also present for the surprise.

In multiple nomination letters, Villarreal was described as a dedicated and passionate teacher who serves as a role model to her students and a mentor for her colleagues. They said Villarreal can often be found in her classroom after school helping both current and former students master the content of their current math class. She is also the co-director of Howell High School’s summer school program. Villarreal has been teaching at Howell Public Schools for 19 years.

A committee of 15 district stakeholders comprised of teachers, parents, central office administrators and a school board member met Tuesday to consider 74 Teacher of the Year nominees. After several hours of reviewing the nominations of these outstanding teachers, the committee selected Villarreal as this year’s winner. She will now represent Howell Public Schools in the Michigan Teacher of the Year competition.

Pictured: Villarreal and HHS principal Jason Schrock share a laugh during the Teacher of the Year Presentation. (JK)