Martell Teacher Surprised With Troy Teacher of the Year Award, New Car

Laurie Pickell was one of three Troy teachers honored Thursday morning.

Laurie Pickell was teaching her wide-eyed kindergarten students about ostrich legs when a group of about 25 teachers, parents and members of the media walked into her Martell Elementary School classroom Thursday morning. 

"OHHHHH," she was instructing the students, who were working on their letter of the week, "O."

And then, looking up from the carpet, where her students were gathered around, she had this to say to the visitors who were suddenly crowding her classroom.


Superintendent Barbara Fowler presented Pickell with Troy Schools' prestigious Outstanding Teacher of the Year award. She was named the Elementary Teacher of the Year and then the overall Teacher of the Year; along with the honor comes the one-year lease of a new car, provided by The Suburban Collection. 

"I'm overwhelmed," said Pickell, in keeping with the "O" theme. 

'It's all worth it every day'

This is Pickell's 27th year of teaching but her first year at Martell; she came to the school from Troy's Leonard Elementary because she wanted to be a part of the new all-day kindergarten program.

"I love having the first chance after the families," she said of her job. "That excites me the most. It's all worth it every day. I put my head on the pillow every night and think: it's all worth it."

Martell parent Jinah Kim, one of two parents who nominated Pickell for the award, said Pickell has brought a lot of energy to the school. "She's everywhere," Kim said. 

Both nominators praised Pickell's boundless energy, her ability to connect with students at all levels and her willingness to go above and beyond to ensure her students excel.

Pickell lives in Washington Township with her husband, Mark and her children, Abby and Zach. She said she knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was in high school and visited a special education classroom.

Also Thursday morning, Patrick Koneval, who teaches technology at Smith Middle School, was named Middle School Teacher of the Year and Omar Hakim, who teaches English at International Academy East, was named High School Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year is chosen by a committee of school district personnel. 

shannon February 28, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I had the pleasure of teaching with Laurie for 6 years, and she IS the best of the best! Congratulations!!!
Lori Ulewicz March 01, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Laurie is a gift to education that is selflessly given to students each and everyday with energy, happiness and love. So very deserving of celebration by all who have the pleasure of knowing her. With Admiration, Lori U
Jan Murduff March 01, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Laurie"s energy, knowledge and love of her students makes her a teacher's teacher. She certainly deserves this very honorable award. Congratulations. Jan
Nicole Given March 01, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Laurie inspires me everyday! I feel so blessed to work with her. I can't think of a more deserving person for this award! Keep on smiling and inspiring, Laurie!!!
Genia Connell March 01, 2013 at 02:07 AM
I had the good fortune to work with Laurie for nearly 25 years, and I couldn't be happier for her. She is both a wonderful teacher and person. When the students in my 3rd grade class heard the news this morning, they stood and cheered for their beloved 2ns grade teacher. Congratulations, Laurie! Well deserved!
Nancy Fragomeni March 01, 2013 at 02:40 AM
It has been my pleasure to have taught with Laurie for 26 years. Her knowledge, professionalism and love for her children brighten any classroom. Congratulation Laurie
ann mcallister March 01, 2013 at 03:16 AM
"her willingness to go above and beyond", says it all! Thank you for giving Tim Weathers the best Kindergarten experience that a parent of a special needs child could hope for. God bless you.
Lisa Leslie Stilson March 01, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Laurie- You were one of my top student teachers! I am so very proud of you! Congratulations...Troy has chosen the best of the best!!! Lisa Leslie Stilson
Matt Reimann March 01, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Mrs. Pickell is the best - as both a Troy teacher and a parent of four kids who went through Leonard, I always thought she gave 100% every day - what a wonderful and well deserved award!
Karen Schoonover March 01, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Martell is so lucky to have Mrs. Pickell as this is her first year there...endless energy, kindness to students, and an open door to parents of children in all grades.
Arlene Ball March 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Congratulations Laurie!!! You are a great representative of the multitude of Troy Teachers who always go above and beyond. I remember your enthusiasm and energy when we worked at Leonard many years ago!!!
norita bergmann March 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Congratulations Laurie!! My daughter was in Laurie's first Kindergarten Class at Leonard...the students received boundless energy, love and encouragement, along with a solid educational foundation. This tribute is WELL deserved and long overdue!!!
Nadeen Brown March 03, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Congratulations Laurie!! Laurie is an awesome dedicated, well deserving teacher! We are so very proud of you!
Charla Lau March 09, 2013 at 11:01 PM
I was so happy to hear that Larie was chosen as our teacher of the year in Troy. She inspires me whenever I see her at district events and in-services with her enthusiasm for teaching and learning! Any child would LOVE to be in her class. Way to go, Laurie!


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