Midland native named 2022 online teacher of the year – Midland Daily News

A Midland native was recently recognized by a Michigan education non-profit as its best online teacher.

Oxford resident and Midland native Maria Wolbert was named Michigan Virtual’s 2022 Online Teacher of the Year at the end of August, an award given to an online instructor who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom and positively impacted students. This award cements her continuation a a family legacy of education.

Since the inception of the awards in 2009, Michigan Virtual President and CEO Jamey Fitzpatrick has honored 16 teachers with the distinction of the nonprofit’s Online Teacher of the Year.

“Given the increasing importance of online education, Wolbert’s experience and technical background allow her to always be thinking about ways to improve the virtual learning environment,” Fitzpatrick said. “From Maria’s nomination letters, it was clear she seeks to create an innovative learning environment that aligns with Michigan Virtual’s mission. She is most deserving of the Online Teacher of the Year Award.”

Wolbert, who has been with Michigan Virtual since 2018 and teaches web development, business, IT, careers, and study skills, received several letters of support. Among them, Wolbert was praised as an “engaged advocate for her students” by Kevin Santer, a lead CTE instructor, who went on to share how she “spends an extraordinary amount of time meeting with students, providing detailed feedback on assignments and developing rich supporting resources.”

Her father, Midland resident Pete Conarty, said Wolbert grew up in Midland and is a graduate of Midland High School. He used to be a teacher himself, along with Wobert’s sister.

“(She) followed in the lineup of several teachers in the family,” Conarty said. “It is wonderful and (I am) very proud of her.”

Wolbert taught across many school districts and grades levels, first beginning her career in 1986. She received her Bachelor of Science in education from Central Michigan and her master’s degree in career and technical education from Wayne State University. Wolbert has been a member of numerous professional organizations, most recently serving as president of the K9 Stray Rescue League. She received Michigan Virtual’s Commitment Award in 2018.

To be selected for the Teacher of the Year distinction, key criteria include a positive impact on students, continuous improvement of practice, and a vision for the future of online education. This distinguished award was created to set a bar for excellence and recognize the incredible teachers in the digital learning community.

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