Congratulations to Mark Honeyman, BHS Teacher, who recently received the Excellence in Education Award! Honeyman will be featured on WXYZ on Thursday, December 7, between 5:30 - 6 p.m., and again on Friday, December 8, between 12 - 12:30 p.m.
Sydney Harker, WHMS 8th grader, submitted Honeyman's nomination for the award. "Sydney wrote an essay explaining everything she had gained from being a student of mine, including being in Book Club and Count Me In Club," Honeyman says. "It was incredible, she managed to capture the essence of what I try to bring into my classroom, every core value that I try to represent. It was a huge honor." Harker also created a video that was shared with Honeyman during the taping.
"I was thinking of my favorite teachers, and thought about what I could do to make them happy," Harker explains. "I looked up 'best teacher awards in Michigan,' and found this one."
The Excellence in Education Award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and staff who are making a significant impact in the lives of Michigan students through demonstrating excellence, dedication, inspiration, leadership and effectiveness. Recipients receive a $1,500 cash prize and a $500 grant. Honeyman is in the running for the Educator of the Year Award and a $10,000 grand prize.
"I've never had a teacher like Mr. Honeyman," Lindsey Zousmer, another of Honeyman's students, says. "I could be having the worst day, and I walk into his class, and I automatically get a smile on my face. He genuinely shows that he cares about us more than anything. Every day when we walk out of class, he tells us that he loves us. I've never had a teacher that makes me feel so special, and that I belong."
"Mr. Honeyman is a great teacher because he allows all of his students to think," says Akita Kotian, student. "He wants you to take something away from your work, and not only is it a better understanding of what you are working on, but it's how to continue to think about things like that for the rest of your life."
Benji Stern, 8th grader, adds, "What makes Mr. Honeyman so special is that he stands by you. He'll wake up at 5:30 in the morning and come to school early to help you learn."
In addition to his daily classroom inspiration, Honeyman leads two well-attended student clubs: the Book Club and Count Me In.
"Count Me In is an anti-bullying club, and it's really helped me throughout the year," Harker says. "It makes me feel like I really belong, and like you aren't alone." "Everyone has a chance to share your feelings and insecurities," Stern adds. "It's a community that will support you no matter what. Mr. Honeyman will listen to you personally and help you through any struggle that you're going through."
"I joined the Book Club this year because I wanted to become a better reader," Jack Abel, 8th grader, shares. "I have been motivated and a better student in general." Kotian adds, "I joined Book Club last year as a 7th grader, and it was definitely a great experience for me. I read books I never would have thought about reading at home."
The affection between Honeyman and his students clearly goes in both directions.
"Learning is an incredible leap of faith, and an act of courage," Honeyman says. "An award like this is a testament to the support and engagement that thousands of kids who have walked into my room have given me over the years. I couldn't have done any of the things I've done if it wasn't for the love and incredible trust that my students have graced me with every day. My name is on the award, but the spirit of the students is what drove it."
While at the Lansing Fox47 studio taping the news broadcast, Honeyman met with Jason Pikstein, BHS alumnus (shown above). "I found out that Jason, a student I taught in 1988, was on the technical crew, waiting to give me a massive bear hug when I walked off the set" Honeyman says. "It released the tension and made me laugh!"