Hoydic named ‘teacher of the year’ for Rogers City

by Peter Jakey

Managing Editor

Rogers City Area Schools (RCAS) middle/high school art teacher Jillian Hoydic, who has worn many educational hats in the district, has been named teacher of the year for the 2022-2023 school year. The announcement was made during last Friday’s pep rally for the playoff bound football team. 

Jillian Hoydic

“I’m honored because I get to do what I love to do, every day, and they said it in front of the whole school,” said Jillian Hoydic Tuesday afternoon in her classroom. She was overcome with emotion talking about the honor and had to wipe away her tears from the corners of her eyes. “Education has always been a big part of my family and I am just honored.”

RCAS guidance counselor Marilyn Dimick, who provided one of the two nominations, said that Jillian embodies the role of a dedicated educator, driven by a passion of excellence and creatively. 

Jillian and her husband, fellow RCAS teacher Jon Hoydic, came to Rogers City 12 years ago. She worked in the video and film industry in Chicago for six years, shooting commercials and low budget films, as well as working on set designs. 

Jillian was hired in as a part-time special education/Title 1/at risk teacher at Rogers City Elementary School (RCES). She was given more and more time at the middle/high school teaching special education when a new opportunity presented itself three years ago.

Superintendent/secondary principal Nick Hein, who wanted to bring an art program back, asked Jillian if she was interested in taking on the elective.

“Teaching art is a passion for Jillian,” said Dimick in her nomination letter dated, Sept. 28. “It is exciting to see the beautifully articulated art projects students complete in her art class.” Along with art, Jillian spends two hours each day co-teaching English/language arts for special education.

“Jillian is an exceptional role model and m

akes a huge difference in the lives of our students,” said Dimick. “She works arduously with students who have learning disabilities.”

She also runs the PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies) program at Rogers City High School along with special education teacher Shelly Nielsen. It is an elective class where students are placed in elementary, middle and high school classrooms to work with students with disabilities or students in need of academic support. She also runs the Presque Isle Soccer Association with Maggie List. 

The other nomination was provided by her husband. 

RCES teacher Paula Streich is currently serving as the 2021-2022 teacher of the year.