The Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) proudly announces Natalie Popadich, an educator at Grand Blanc High School, as the recipient of the 2023 High School English Teacher of the Year Award.
With an impressive 23-year tenure as an English teacher at Grand Blanc High School, Popadich’s dedication to education is evident. Her contributions to the school community are numerous, including 15 years of advising the student newspaper and six years of chairing the English Department. Currently, she serves as the coach of the debate team. Beyond her professional commitments, Popadich is passionate about reading and public speaking. She infuses her teaching with elements of stand-up comedy and finds joy in exploring the art, culture, and culinary scene of downtown Flint.
Upon learning of her well-deserved recognition, Popadich expressed her deep sense of honor and humility. She believes that many of her fellow educators are equally deserving of such an award. This accolade will serve as an inspiration for her to continue ensuring that all students have access to diverse experiences and opportunities to express their voices. Popadich also sees this recognition as an opportunity to offer visibility and encouragement to other queer educators, emphasizing that being authentic is a gift not only to oneself but to the world.
The High School English Teacher of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding high school English educator. To be considered for the award, the ideal nominee is a role model and an inspiration to the education community, demonstrates a strong ability to foster excellence in ELA education, and connects learning to student interests and to their lives beyond the classroom. In addition, recipients of this award are recognized for utilizing a variety of innovative teaching methodologies and demonstrating a strong commitment to creating a caring and respectful climate conducive to effective teaching and learning.
Natalie Popadich will assume the role of MCTE’s High School English Teacher of the Year for the current school year and will be celebrated at the spring conference of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English in March 2024. Additionally, she will be recognized at the upcoming annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Established in 1922, the Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE) serves as the state affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English, uniting K-16 English language arts educators. MCTE is dedicated to offering professional development opportunities to English language arts teachers and English education professors throughout Michigan. The organization’s objectives include the dissemination of current English education scholarship and providing valuable support to English language arts teachers as they navigate pedagogical practices, student needs, and teaching philosophies. To learn more about MCTE, visit their website at https://mymcte.org.