2023 Excellence in Teaching Award

Grant Elementary Teacher Michelle Merideth-Sutke - 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient
Posted on 05/11/2023

May 11, 2023 - Eureka, CA - Eureka City Schools (ECS) would like to congratulate Michelle Merideth-Sutke, Kindergarten Teacher at Grant Elementary, for her recent Excellence in Teaching Award from the Humboldt County Office of Education. Merideth-Sutke received this prestigious honor with 14 other local teachers, including First Grade Teacher Mary Stone from Washington Elementary.

Merideth-Sutke shares with us how her love for teaching got started, some of her experiences through the years, and where she’s at today.

“I grew up in Humboldt County with two long-time ECS teachers. My brother and I spent a lot of time helping to prep activities, hanging bulletin boards and running around both the Alice Birney and Winship campuses while our parents were working in their classrooms. I watched the amazing relationships they built with their students and colleagues and definitely noticed the hard work that they were putting into their job on a daily basis.

My parents’ last year of teaching was my first year of teaching with Eureka City Schools.  I have been with the District for most of my 18 years as an educator. During two of those years I worked as an Interpretive Ranger for Redwood National Park at Wolf Creek Outdoor School which was an amazing experience in outdoor education.

While in a traditional classroom setting I have taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Fourth Grade, and Reading Intervention (part-time). Along with teaching, as many of my colleagues also do, I have served on a variety of committees which include site ETA representative, teacher representative on PTA, site leadership and PBIS teams, curriculum committee, curriculum selection teams, and have hosted several student teachers. Teaching is a challenging career however I am lucky to have an amazing group of family, friends and colleagues who are constantly willing to support me. I could not do what I do without them.

Outside of school, I have two young daughters (who also attend Grant) who keep me busy with coaching soccer, attending ballet events, playing the piano, theater, bike riding, hiking, swimming and co-leading a Girl Scout troop.”

Merideth-Sutke was accompanied at the HCOE Excellence in Teaching awards event at the Sequoia Conference Center on May 3, 2023 by her husband Dwayne, daughters Reece & Norah, parents Ken and Patty Merideth, Grant Principal Rachel Brakeman, and longtime teaching colleagues - Carla Kraus, Harmony Pelern, Maggie Tedder, Mike Larson, Sandra Osuna, Val Heidger, Marilyn Nilsen, and Emily Rico.

ECS colleague Mike Larson says, “Michelle has inspired me in her practices, professionalism, and strength through positivity. I have been directly influenced by her creativity and confidence in executing project-based learning opportunities. In the years I have known Michelle, she has continued to leave an indelible mark on the Grant family in the classroom, our school at large, and extending to the entire community.”

Thank you for your excellence in teaching Michelle Merideth-Sutke. Keep up the great work!