Oakland County’s Outstanding ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Teacher of The Year 2016

Cheryl Newcomer Learns She is Oakland County’s Outstanding ELEMENTARY TEACHER of The Year 2016!

Dropping in to surprise Cheryl Newcomer in the middle of her sixth grade English class at Power Upper Elementary in Farmington was like walking into a buzzing hive of positive energy.

Cheryl was excited to find out that she had been named Oakland County’s Outstanding Elementary School Teacher of the Year, but her classroom kids were THRILLED!

The sixth graders volunteered why Miss Newcomer was their ‘Teacher of the Year’, every single day:

“Miss Newcomer makes me feel cared about and important.”

“She makes us all feel safe.”

“Miss Newie makes learning FUN.”

Dr. Terri Spencer, Oakland Schools, with Cheryl and class!

During the happy, chaotic group photo in front of the camera crew, the principal and the visitors from Farmington School District and Oakland Schools, Miss Newcomer noticed that one of her students was overwhelmed and sitting alone at the edge of the group.

“Claire, come stand by me,” Cheryl called, and reeled her student into her comfort zone.

Everyone gets noticed by Miss Newcomer, and all are treated with kindness and acceptance.

Cheryl attended Power Upper Elementary as a student when her family moved to Farmington from Indiana many years ago, and Cheryl’s mom, Mary, recently retired from Power as a special education para-professional.

Cheryl with her parents, Mary and Gary Newcomer

The Power educational force is strong with this family, and it just seems right to go full-circle where a good student became a great teacher!

Superintendent George Heitsch and Power Principal Allyson Robinson with Cheryl Newcomer

Photos and text by Jean MacLeod, Oakland Schools


Newcomer, of Westland, Michigan, began teaching in Farmington in 2006. She was selected from a pool of 22 elementary school nominees by a committee comprised of education and community representatives.

Candidates are evaluated in six areas: Engaging students, meeting individual needs of students, demonstrating knowledge of subject area, demonstrating classroom management, relating to parents and colleagues, demonstrating citizenship and leadership in the school community. Supporting statements from colleagues, parents and students are also considered.

When asked to describe Mrs. Newcomer, one parent said, “No matter what a student’s needs are, Cheryl finds ways to meet them with confidence, competence, and confidentiality when needed.” Former student Emily Snyder added “Her happiness and energy made the classroom fun.

Miss Newcomer teaches English and social studies

Newcomer, along with the middle school and high school Outstanding Teacher of the Year winners, and the remaining 66 nominees, will be honored at an event at Oakland Schools on Thursday, May 5. The three winners will each receive a check for $2,000. The Oakland County Outstanding Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Oakland Schools Education Foundation with funds from other sponsors.

For more information about Cheryl Newcomer and Farmington Public Schools, please contact Diane Bauman at 248.489.3349.

For more information about the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Program, please contact Danelle Gittus, APR, Communication Services Director at Oakland Schools at 248.209.2181, or check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

FOLLOW the upcoming surprise high school Teacher of the Year announcement, and May 5th awards ceremony on Twitter at #OTOY16

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