Top National Honor Goes to Michigan Math Teacher

A math teacher from Haslett High School in Haslet, Michigan recently received a top national honor along with a $25,000 reward. Students and faculty at the high school celebrated with Kevin Tobe after the award announcement was made.

Tobe was one of 40 teachers in the nation and the only one in Michigan to be named a National Milken Educator Award winner. The Milken Family Foundation’s National Education Award Program has been in existence for 25 years and is considered the top awards for educators.

Tobe was completely surprised when he walked into the school’s gymnasium and found that he was the center of all the attention. Mike Duda, the Haslett Superintendent, kept the news of the award secret for roughly three months. The students were called into the gymnasium after their second period class only to find state Superintendent Brian Whiston, state Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-Meridian Township; and other members from the Haslett Board of Education.

The award was presented to Tobe by the Foundation Senior Vice President, Jane Foley who herself had won the award in 1994 while serving as a principal at a school in Indiana. She spoke to the group, saying that honors should not go only to athletes and film stars. “Greatness in educators should be recognized, too,” Foley said.

Students and faculty cheered as the announcement was made much to Kobe’s surprise. The humble teacher acknowledged the staff at Haslett High School, saying that there were several other staff members who also were deserving of the honor.

Kobe, who teaches geometry, advanced placement calculus and calculus 2 admitted the presentation was emotional and described the experience of sharing it with his students as incredible.

Principal Bart Wegenke said that the Kobe was deserving of the award due to his commitment to lifelong learning and keeping the kids best interest at heart.