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Julie VanderLaan – 2014 DAFT Teacher of the Year

Julie VanderLaan Teacher of the Year 2014

Julie VanderLaan

Byron Center High School


It was the summer before my junior year in college and I was still trying to figure out what career I was going to pursue, I had changed my major six times. I decided to take a class in film studies; it changed my life and my career pursuit.

Upon graduation, I started my career writing and producing commercials in Detroit. In 1989, I was given the opportunity to start an Educational Access Station in west Michigan. I ran this station, WCET, for seven years until I was recruited to start another Educational Access Station in Byron Center. Two years later I received my certification to teach and have been an instructor and station manager at Byron Center High School ever since.

I love sharing my passion for visual arts with my students everyday. Teaching is the most rewarding career.

I live in Hudsonville, Michigan with my wonderful husband, Scott and two beautiful daughters, Kayla and Anna.

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