A great future is dependent on a great education. We are very fortunate in West Michigan to have so many schools, administrators and teachers dedicated to providing our youth with opportunities for a bright future.

East Kentwood High School math teacher Luke Wilcox is one of those teachers. He has been named the 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

The Michigan Department of Education made the announcement today during a visit from State Superintendent Brian Whiston. Whiston congratulated Wilcox saying, "He sets a high standard not only for himself, but for his students and fellow educators."

Mr. Wilcox is a math teacher at East Kentwood High School. He has 15 years of classroom experience, and was selected from dozens of nominees statewide. Those who know him say he lives and breathes education.

Wilcox graduated valedictorian of his high school class. He credits his teachers for giving him inspiration and motivation, “Their examples provided me with the drive to later become the successful public educator that I am today,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox said he wants to provide this same opportunity and support for students today. He uses the mantra “beating the odds” to inspire students. He says that over the over the past 15 years what makes him most proud of his students is not their academic achievements, but "their ability to reach goals far beyond what the students originally expected of themselves."

Wilcox has taught Algebra 1, Geometry, Pre-Calculus and AP Statistics at East Kentwood High Schools since 2001. He has also served as Math Department Chairperson.

Kentwood Public Schools Superintendent Michael Zoerhoff talked about the impact Mr. Wilcox has had saying he has "served as a role model for numerous students whose only path out of poverty was through a quality education. Mr. Wilcox is truly a difference-maker in the lives of our students, our staff, and in our community.”

The other four finalists for the award include one West Michigan teacher:

  • Jennifer Crotty, government teacher at Warren’s Fitzgerald High School
  • Raymond Herek, 9-12 Mathematics teacher, Williamston High School
  • Dave Stuart Jr., World History and English teacher, Cedar Springs Public Schools
  • Gina Wilson, 6-12 Mathematics and Scienceteacher, Washtenaw Educational Option Consortium