Farmington Public Schools honors teacher with ‘heart and soul’

Julie Folkert, seventh grade English Language Arts teacher at Dunckel Middle School, was surprised May 4 with the Judy White-Ora “Teaching with Heart and Soul” award, presented by Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch during one of her classes.

FPS Heart and Soul winner
Award winner Julie Folkert (center) is congratulated by Dunckel Middle School Principal Allen Archer (left) and Farmington Public Schools’ Superintendent George Heitsch (right).

The veteran educator began her teaching career in Farmington Public Schools in 1988 at Dunckel Middle School, then moved to Highmeadow Common Campus where she worked from 1989-2002. She moved on to became the English Language Arts Coordinator for the District, and in 2013-2014, became a part time Quality Instruction Coach at Dunckel. In 2014-2015, she was a part-time coach and part-time eighth grade English Language Arts teacher, and during this school year, she returned to full-time classroom teaching at Dunckel.

Folkert earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Michigan State University and her Master of Education with a major in Reading with an emphasis in assessment also from Michigan State University.

One of her nominators wrote, “After teaching for almost 15 years, I have never seen a teacher more dedicated to supporting her students in the learning process and bringing out the best in each child. Julie always does what is best for students even though it may not be what is most convenient for her. Julie is a teacher who inspires not only her students, but fellow staff as well. Constantly learning, innovating, and reacting to the needs of her students, she always has a pulse on what is going on in her classroom both academically and emotionally.”

The “Teaching with Heart and Soul” Award was created in honor of retired assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Judy White-Ora, who passed away on January 6, 2006. During her years in education, she developed a pledge for teachers and her ultimate goal was to receive one million signed pledges from educators around the world. It reads as follows: Today I will:

  • Respect the uniqueness of each child
  • Ignite the joy of learning
  • Listen to their voices
  • Put human connections first
  • Encourage the spirit and let their light shine
  • Create a caring learning community

Folkert will be honored at the May 24 Farmington Public Schools’ Board of Education meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Lewis Schulman Administrative Building at 32500 Shiawasee, Farmington. This meeting will also be cablecast on TV-10.

Press release