David Britten, Detroit Northwestern High School, awarded 2012 Michigan Civic EducationTeacher of the Yearwphungerford
David Britten, a social studies teacher at Northwestern High School, Detroit Public Schools, was named the Michigan Civic Education Teacher of the Year. The award was presented by David Hales, Social Studies Consultant, Wayne RESA, and Board Member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education. The award was presented at the Joint Social Studies Conference co- sponsored by the Michigan Center for Civic Education.
The selection of teacher of the year is based on the following criteria:
1-Excellence in the instruction of civic and law-related education
2-Involvement of students in civic and law-related education programs which give students the opportunity to practice the skills of citizenship
3-Leadership in the teaching profession by promoting civic education
Mr. Britten has been in the Detroit Public Schools since 2005, first at Denby High School and most recently at Northwestern where he teaches Student Government, Basic Law, and World History. Mr. Britten helps run the highly successful Teen Court Program and coaches Northwestern’s mock trial team in the Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament. He is the Student Government advisor, and is a leader in Michigan Youth in Government.
Mr. Britten came to education from the business world, first beginning his career in accounting. After a very successful and lucrative start with long term assignments in Switzerland and London, he knew that his real calling lay in teaching students to successfully navigate their world as young citizens. Hales described a conversation with Britton where he indicated that his greatest success is in seeing a “light bulb” go off in students and applying their learning to the world around them. An observer would find his students participating in projects like the adopt-a-child program, visiting shelters, coming together with his leadership on Saturdays to board abandoned building in the school’s neighborhood, participating in the Motor City make-over, among other things.
Britten left the world of business to pursue teaching to make a difference in the life of young adults. He wasn’t willing to just sit by and take the easier route of criticizing the youth of Detroit, as others often do. Britten rolled up his sleeves and said, “Let’s get to work.” He is proud of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools and the hard working educators endeavoring to create meaningful change for students. Sheryl Jones, Director of the Office of Social Studies for Detroit Public Schools also thanked Britten for his tireless advocacy of his students.
Founded in 1982, the Michigan Center for Civic Education is Michigan’s premiere non-profit, non-partisan organization serving the mission of promoting the development of engaged, responsible citizens through civic and law-related education. Serving on the Center’s Advisory Board are Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly, Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Flanagan, Michigan State Police Director Kriste Etue, State Bar of Michigan Executive Director Janet K. Welch and Dr. Suzanne Wilson, Chair Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University.
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