For the first time since the Michigan Department of Education began giving the award in 1952, a teacher from Grand Rapids has won Michigan Teacher of the Year.

Bobbi Jo Kenyon, a science and math teacher at Ottawa Hills High School with over 16 years of classroom experience, was named as the winner.  The announcement was made last Thursday.

Kenyon comments on what it means to be a teacher:

My job as their teacher is to unlock the potential within every child, hold them accountable, inspire, encourage, and show them what they are capable of when they apply themselves.  Each class needs to make connections to students' lives.  Having relevancy is the key to getting students excited about learning.

Grand Rapids Public Schools will receive $1,000 in honor of the recognition.  Kenyon will receive the use of a car for one year.

David Scott Emeott, a mathematics teacher at East Kentwood High School, was also a finalist.

View all of the past winners, including more from West Michigan.

Here's more from mlive.com.