GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — May is teacher appreciation month and Van Andel Institute for Education celebrates by recognizing the dedication of educators across the country with the Betty Van Andel Teachers of Excellence Award.

This year, 10 teachers from as far west as Arizona and as far east as Delaware were honored with the recognition. Half of the winners were from West Michigan:

  • Chris Conrad, Allegan High School science teacher
  • Kristin Oslund, Oakland Intermediate fourth grade teacher
  • Coleen Shaltry, Crossroads Charter Academy second grade teacher
  • Julia Wilcox, New Beginnings Alternative High School teacher
  • Kelley Ziomkowski, Flat River Academy third grade teacher

All of the winners have worked with VAI to build classrooms that cultivate curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, the research institute said.

VAI works to celebrate the passion of educators all year long with its Caught Being Awesome award. Anyone can nominate a teacher anytime they are caught being awesome.

Learn more about all 10 of this year’s Betty Van Andel Teachers of Excellence winners here.