Congratulations to OPIE Award winners Sarah Dzwik and Sue Cherry!

Two Char-Em ISD employees will be honored with Outstanding Person in Education (OPIE) Awards at a 2020 ceremony recognizing educators who are respected and admired by their colleagues. Honorees are persons in education who emulate what it means to be an educator or an educational support professional.

At the Char-Em ISD Board of Education meeting on Dec. 16, 2019, Erin Broughman, Char-Em ISD Teacher Consultant and Educational Association President, shared information about this year’s winners:

Sarah Dzwik

SARAH DZWIK, elementary programs teacher in East Jordan, 12 years with the ISD, secretary of the Char-Em Educational Association Board.

Dzwik has worked as a special education classroom teacher with students ages 4 to 26 in her 12 years of teaching at Char-Em ISD. She has high expectations for her students who often face many physical and cognitive challenges, yet endeavors to help them grow to be as independent as possible. She works hard to help the families of her students as well, connecting them to community organizations, finding applicable resources, or simply lending a listening ear or offering a caring word. Sarah strives to be a good leader and knows that having strong and trusting relationships with assistants and other teachers is key to providing the best team for her students.

SUE CHERRY, bus driver, northern route (Pellston), 7 years with the ISD, co-president of the Char-Em ISD Transporters Association.

Comments about Cherry in her nomination materials include, “Who wouldn’t want to be on Suzanne Cherry’s bus! A veteran driver with over 20 years of experience, she was once entrusted with transporting for one of Michigan’s former governors.”

Sue Cherry

With a consistent calmness, Cherry cares for “her kids” as if they were her own. “She can just sense when they’re hurting, need a hug, or a high-five. Her depth of skill in redirecting even the most agitated student has deftly defused difficult situations, restoring calm from chaos and allowing her students to arrive at school ready to learn.”

Known to take at-risk students fishing during the summer, her compassionate intervention has had a direct impact on keeping them connected to a positive, year-round educational experience to make for a seamless re-entry to school.

The 25th Annual OPIE Awards Banquet will take place May 7, 2020, hosted by Ellsworth Community Schools at Ovation Hall, Odawa Casino Resort. All are welcome to attend; tickets go on sale Dec. 20, 2019.

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