A version of this article was also published at FOX 17 on August 4, 2023.
LANSING, Mich. — David Dublis of Grand Rapids, Mich. was named the 2023 Online Mentor of the Year – a distinction given to a Michigan Virtual mentor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and enhanced student success in the online classroom.
“Michigan Virtual students work with highly talented and dedicated mentors who are chosen not just for their expertise, but for their passion for helping students succeed academically, mentally and socially,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “David first became a mentor in the fall of 2021 and has proven, through his deep concern for our individual students, that whole child education helps students flourish.”
Dublis began with Grand Rapids Public Schools in 2011 as a technology specialist and drama director. In his work serving as a Michigan Virtual mentor, Dublis now focuses on helping students succeed and learn the ‘soft skills’ not traditionally taught in a standard classroom.
“I think the key to making anyone a good mentor or teacher is a true desire to help students be successful,” Dublis said. “Truly caring about each individual student and making a point to form relationships, while taking the opportunity to listen is the difference for some students.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Communications at Loyola University Chicago, Dublis went on to receive a Master of Education at DePaul University.
Dublis wants future mentors to know it’s a valuable path, adding that, “This job can be as rewarding as you make it by taking the time to form relationships with your students and meeting with them regularly when possible. Today’s students are dealing with more anxiety and stress. When the students know I truly care, they don’t want to let me down.”
Since its inception in 2015, nine mentors received the distinction of Michigan Virtual Online Mentor of the Year. Mentors of the Year are nominated by Michigan Virtual instructors who are in regular contact with both students and educators regarding student progress and success.
To be selected for the Mentor of the Year distinction, mentors must be positive and proactive communicators with instructors and parents and assist as an ambassador for students to ensure their success. This distinguished award was established to set a bar for excellence and recognize the incredible mentors in the digital learning community.
Learn more about Michigan Virtual mentors at michiganvirtual.org/mentors.