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Susan Gutierrez

In only 10 years in the field of education, Susan Lynn Gutierrez has set herself apart as a teacher of exceptional ability by actively engaging her students in historical inquiry and understanding and by engaging and inspiring her colleagues. Ms. Gutierrez was a middle school teacher and is now an administrative intern at the Forest Hills Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ms. Gutierrez began her teaching career in 1994 at Forest Hills' Central Middle School, where she taught history and social studies. She quickly emerged as a gifted educator who set high standards for all her students and was relentless in efforts to engage her students by making history tangible and meaningful. She established a grant-supported service-learning project with the Michigan American Legion in which her students were able to learn from and support veterans. Her innovative approaches also led to the creation of a Civil War reconstruction project in which her students experienced what life was like during that period. She went on to serve as chairwoman of the Department of Social Studies at Central, as well as serve a yearlong internship as assistant principal at the middle school. In 2002, Ms. Gutierrez was selected as Michigan's Teacher of the Year. That honor was only one of the many she has received, including the Michigan American Legion Teacher of the Year (2002), Forest Hills Public Schools Teacher of the Year (2001), and Delta Kappa Gamma Distinguished Educator Award (2003).

Ms. Gutierrez has a bachelor's degree in history from Albion College (1991), a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from MSU (1992), and master's degree in K-12 educational administration from MSU (2001).

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