PETOSKEY — Her love of teaching has led her from Kalamazoo to Texas, Morocco to Singapore. But when she came to Petoskey years ago, that love became a gift for Petoskey Public Schools and all the students who have come through her classroom.
On Wednesday, Sheridan Elementary School third-grade teacher, Sue Moffatt, was honored for her years of service in education by the Rotary Club of Petoskey as the club’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. It is the only annual award given by the club, and recognizes a K-12 teacher in Petoskey Public Schools.
Moffatt is the 20th teacher to receive the award, which recognizes her outstanding efforts in having lifelong, positive effects on students. She was chosen by nominations from the club, the public and her peers. For her achievement, she received a plaque and $250 in prize money for herself and $250 for her classroom.
“She teaches with creativity, passion, and has had a lifelong impact on students,” said Bill Winslow, chairman of the vocational awards committee for the Rotary Club of Petoskey.
Moffatt moved around a lot as a child, eventually graduating high school in South Korea. She went on to receive her bachelor’s in music education from Western Michigan University, which was followed by a master’s in early childhood education.
She has taught kindergarten through sixth-grade, preschool and nursery school. In addition to teaching third-grade at Sheridan, she is also the school’s talent show director, a piano teacher and brings new teaching ideas to the district.
When asked where her drive comes from, Moffatt said, “I have a passion for learning and instilling excitement to kids.”
John Scholten, superintendent of Petoskey Public Schools, described Moffatt as “worldly,” and called her a “phenomenal teacher.”
“Everything she does is first class,” Scholten said.
Moffatt, who has been teaching for more than 36 years, said she didn’t know why she was nominated for the award, as her co-workers are so talented and are such great teachers.
Her fondest memory in teaching was making the jump from teaching kindergarten at Sheridan to the third-grade, since she was able to have the same students and their families again.
Moffatt has been married to her husband, Brad, for 36 years and has two children, Emily and Seth. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dog, kayaking, sailing, reading and being with friends and family. She is also the handbell choir director for First Presbyterian Church, sings in the choir and is a hospice volunteer.
Moffatt relies on what she calls “the seven c’s” for success — compassion, caring, commitment, cooperation, competence, collaboration and community.
“Teaching is an art form and a calling,” Moffatt said. “I’m happy to have answered that call.”
“It’s about making a difference.”
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