The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School


The student news site of Utica High School



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    Teacher of the Year 2022

    Medical Health educator Melissa Rice nominated by peers to win 2022 Honor
    Melissa Rice and nominators pose with award. (Natalie Garwood)

    After being nominated five times for Teacher of the Year, it was medical science teacher Melissa Rice’s time to win the title.

    “She actually threatened me because she didn’t want to win,” associate principal Jeremy Kanzo said. “I am extremely happy that she was recognized with this award, even though she is the last person that wants any of the attention that comes along with it.”On the morning of March 5, principal Tom Lietz and the fellow nominators of Melissa Rice headed down to her room to announce her victory.

    “She balances H0SA prep for competition, lessons department chair and an overall advocate for teachers and students,” nominator and fellow teacher Dana Boice said. “Her passion for her subiect is above and beyond. Her students are excited to be in ner classes.”

    It’s safe to say that Rice was surprised to see her colleagues walking into her room with her name on the Teacher of the Year sign.

    “I| didn’t expect to win,” Rice said. “I’m very honored to win, but I always think that, especially at this point in education, teaching is hard for everyone. I think this building is full of outstanding teachers that deserve this award. Every teacher in today’s climate deserves this award.”

    Needless to say, winning this award is an honor, along with being nominated four times.

    “She supports students, staff and families with everything she does,” Principal Tom Lietz said. “She’s respected and beloved by her peers and students, and as a principal, I couldn’t ask for a better human leading my students in their learning.”

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    About the Contributor
    Natalie Garwood
    Natalie Garwood, Photography Editor
    Natalie is a senior and this is her third year on staff. Along with being the Photography Editor for the newspaper, she is also the Editor-in Chief of the Warrior Yearbook.  She runs the popular Photo of the Day series on the yearbook Instagram @uhswarrior. Natalie has gone to Michigan Scholastic Press Associations Summer Workshop 3 times where she won 2 Excellence Awards and 1 Sparty Award. She runs lights and designs the playbill for Utica's theatre program, is a part of International Thespian Society Troupe #4260, and is also in National Honor Society.

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