Michelle Daon receives the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award


Kiannah Zambrano

Michelle Daon holds up her award. Photo by Kiannah Zambrano

For more than three decades, the University of Chicago has given the Outstanding Educator award to qualified teachers. This year, they are recognizing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s own, Dr. Michelle Daon

Daon teaches English IV, English IV Honors and AP English Literature.

Teaching high school seniors can be daunting. Their reputation for lethargy and poor attendance can make it difficult for them to take an interest in lessons. But to Daon’s students, it was no surprise that she’d won. 

“Dr. Daon is a really creative teacher, her class is one of my favorites. She makes learning fun,” senior Brian Keane said.

According to Daon, her family was also proud, yet unsurprised that she’d achieved another accolade.  “They said, ‘Another feather in your cap, way to go Doc!’” said Daon.

“We are so proud of educator, Michelle Daon, who has been selected for their Outstanding Educator Award! Ms. Daon, we are so honored to have you as a part of our Stoneman family!” MSD wrote on their Twitter, @MSDHighSchool.

Teachers are nominated by freshman at the university, who are asked to pick a teacher who had been most influential throughout their high school career. Those who are considered to be innovative, dedicated, out-of-the-box thinkers are picked as the winners.

Daon herself was nominated by a former student, David Wu who wrote, “Thank you for teaching me how to not only read for content but also extract the deeper meaning from everything I read… I will hold all the memories I made in your class near and dear to my heart. Most of all, thank you for demonstrating how powerful, interesting and fun literature can be.”

As rewarding as receiving the Outstanding Educator Award may be, Daon’s favorite part of teaching is seeing the impact she has on her students.

“I am personally fulfilled when I can influence, challenge and guide students along their journeys of intellectual growth. I achieve the greatest source of satisfaction when they are able to think metacognitively and look at literature and life outside the box — from fresh, unique perspectives,” Daon said

Despite the award’s prestige, Daon remains humble.

“I’m a very humble individual and this is one of many accolades I am honored to have received,” Daon said. 

Dr. Daon continues to teach with enthusiasm and strives to provide her students with valuable knowledge to use beyond high school.