Lamphere middle school teacher named the best in Oakland County

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Lamphere schools in Madison Heights celebrated a very special teacher Tuesday after she was named one of the top teachers in Oakland County.

Madison Heights John Paige Middle School's teaching staff had its second winner in four years, with science teacher Liz Banks winning Oakland County outstanding middle school teacher of the year.

FOX 2: "What does she do that sets her apart from other teachers?

"Well, Liz has this ability to really leverage those relationships she's made with her kids to make them feel like they can excel way beyond what they even think they can," said Doug Kelley, John Paige principal. "Liz always refers to her kids as 'My scientists and my engineers.' So because of that, her kids are always doing the things that real scientists do. They're taking real-world problems and they're solving them, and developing their own solutions to those problems.

"It's amazing to walk by her classroom any time."

FOX 2: "Liz, what did you think when you heard you won?"

"I was honestly so stunned," Banks said. "It is such an incredible honor. I just consider myself very blessed to be a teacher and be able to impact the students that I teach every single day.

"I love what I do."

FOX 2: "Such an important subject to teach, science. Why do you think it's important in this day in age that kids learn this?"

"I think science is the most fun," she said. "I have the best job being a teacher, but then being a science teacher because it is fun. It is so important we understand how the world works and I tell my students all the time they're the ones that are going to be changing the world and making the world a better place in the future.

"They are the ones that are going to be discovering the new things and inventing new, great products in our future and curing diseases."

FOX 2: "What's the favorite part of the day for you?"

"I think my favorite part is when they're lined up outside of my classroom, because they are excited 'What are we doing today?'" Banks said. "Sometimes they can't wait to get into my room which is so cool to see.

The Lamphere school district has had six Oakland County outstanding teachers of the year in the past five years with winners at the elementary, middle and high school levels.