Michigan International Speedway presents Dan Terryberry as the Onsted Teacher of the Month
By John Hummer, Editor
He’s known to wear many hats and maintains a high standard of teaching and coaching while juggling the responsibilities that come along with both conventional teaching and the challenges of online learning.
Meet Dan Terryberry, an Onsted High School teacher who oversees the school’s online education program and has served as the Onsted varsity football coach for several years.
“Dan’s love for learning and coaching are evident each day, and he strives to share his enthusiasm with everyone he interacts with, whether it be student, athlete, or co-worker.”
Kevin Ohrman, Principal, Onsted High School
Dan was born and raised in the northwest Lower Peninsula in the town of Charlevoix, Mich. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in education from Michigan State University with a focus in math and social studies and his master’s in education from Marygrove College.
“When the online world started growing, Dan had a real interest in and passion for that,” said Onsted School’s Superintendent Steve Head. “He’s taken our online program and grown it. It’s been a huge benefit to many of our students – they’re able to take advanced courses or courses of interest we’re not able to offer here at school.”
Dan is currently in his 14th year with Onsted Community Schools. He taught mainly math and some social studies for his first 10 years at Onsted before spearheading the district’s online program for the past four years. Prior to Onsted, he taught eighth grade math in Tecumseh Schools for eight years.
“The thing about the online world is there is a wide range of opportunities for students,” Dan says. He said there are several groups of learners that can take advantage of online education including students that have struggled in some classes, students looking for something different outside of the normal curriculum – that Onsted Schools does not offer – to meet elective requirements, and students looking for more challenging courses.
“There are different opportunities for students that allow them to get an education in a non-traditional setting,” Dan said. “It’s allowed for many kids to have success in a different way.
“We’ve had kids where they’re taking college courses that we can put in our virtual academy,” he continued. “We have kids that are doing co-op that work during the day, so we’re able to get them a schedule so they can work on their online classes at a different time. It’s a great opportunity for kids if they have a non-traditional thing going on that they can still take classes here and graduate with an Onsted diploma with their classmates.”
Dan has over 80 students that he is responsible for supervising who participate in the online learning program.
“He’s done a great job of supporting the kids and growing the program,” Head said. “We have a nice balance of traditional courses and those opportunities in the online world, and Dan does a great job with all of that.”
Students can now take an entire online class at home or work on it at school in the computer lab. Students can take a math class, an English class that they need to get credit for, a topic of interest course, or an AP course, for example.
Dan is responsible for face-to-face interaction, testing, mentoring, and instruction for each student. He has a proven record of keeping each student on track and mentoring them as needed to help them succeed in an ever-changing learning environment, including the latest in the online education arena.
“Dan’s great at checking in with his students and making sure they’re on track. And if they’re not on track, he’s calling parents and talking to the kids individually to help them get back to where they need to be.”
Onsted Superintendent Steve Head
“Dan brings a positive disposition and attitude with him to work each day and maintains his school spirit and ‘fire up’ attitude both on and off the football field,” says Onsted High School principal Kevin Ohrman. “He challenges both his students and his co-workers to be the best that they can be.”
Dan sets an admirable example as both a teacher and coach. He is always eager to learn how he can improve, and works closely with his co-workers on upgrades, changes, and improvements to the educational systems throughout the school.
“Dan’s love for learning and coaching are evident each day, and he strives to share his enthusiasm with everyone he interacts with, whether it be student, athlete, or co-worker,” Ohrman said.