Pirate elementary teacher honored as ‘Distinguished Educator’

September 21, 2023

Pirate elementary teacher honored as ‘Distinguished Educator’

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor 

Pirate News is a presentation of Hart Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press.  

HART — Spitler Elementary School first grade teacher Megan Stoneman begins her fifth year in education with an award for her hard work.

Stoneman received the United Way of the Lakeshore Distinguished Educator Award, which is awarded annually to educators in Oceana, Muskegon and Newaygo counties.

“It’s exciting — I was really surprised,” she said. “It’s nice someone took time to nominate me.”

A 2013 Hart High School graduate, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Grand Valley State University and then two master’s degrees from Western Governors University — in elementary math and learning and technology.

“I like making an impact on students, and I like building a good community in my classroom so they enjoy coming to school, making it more of a family dynamic.”

She started at Spitler as a fourth grade teacher her first school year, but has taught first grade ever since. 

“I like first grade because they’re a little bit more independent than the kindergartners, and I really like working with the smaller kids. They’re at a fun age.” 

At the age of 28, some of Stoneman’s colleagues are her former teachers. “Some of the teachers here had me as a student. They think it’s funny. It took some getting used to, because you’re used to calling them by their last names, but now I call them by their first names. I’m starting to get some students who are kids of people who I graduated with.” 

Not only does the teacher have busy school days, she also has two little ones at home. She and her husband Thomas have two children: Hazel, 2½, and Knox, 2 months.

Other Oceana area educators receiving the Distinguished Educator Award include:

Shelby — Angelica Lozano

Walkerville — Sara White

Pentwater — Heidi Fleming

Hesperia — Vicki Hawes

Honored teachers receive school supplies through the United Way of the Lakeshore’s Stuff The Bus campaign. 

“I received three huge boxes of school supplies. Sometimes I run out of those things, and I end up buying them, so it’s nice to have extras.”

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