PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Barbara A. Rutecki of Plymouth, Mich. was named Michigan Virtual’s 2022 Online Mentor of the Year – a distinction given to a mentor who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and enhanced student success in the online classroom.
Since the inception of the awards in 2015, Michigan Virtual President and CEO Jamey Fitzpatrick has honored eight teachers with the distinction of Michigan Virtual Online Mentor of the Year.
“Michigan Virtual students work with skilled and passionate mentors who go through a selective process with the understanding that these mentors will provide customized support to students to help them succeed academically, mentally, and socially,” said Fitzpatrick. “Barbara first became a mentor in the summer of 2021 and since then, she has proven to be an effective and dedicated mentor who has already made a profound impact on the students fortunate enough to work alongside her.”
Rutecki has been a business education and computer teacher since 2001 in Plymouth-Canton schools. In her work serving as a Michigan Virtual mentor, Rutecki enjoys getting to know students in a more individual capacity and is truly focused on student success.
“I think the key to making anyone a good mentor or teacher is a true desire to help students be successful,” Rutecki said. “Being a mentor takes some additional adjustments because our students are not face-to-face. That makes it more difficult to discern what we need to do to help individual students.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in business education at Northern Illinois University, Rutecki went on to receive a Masters of Business Administration at Depaul University and a master’s degree in career and technological workforce education from Eastern Michigan University.
Rutecki wants students to know that they should take advantage of the online classes through Michigan Virtual, adding that, “For students who are graduating from high school and moving on to college and or beyond, I want them to know we all need help from time to time. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.”
Since its inception in 2015, eight 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.