Detroit Goodfellows Names Elizabeth Kolesar of Bennett Elementary School Winner of Fifth Annual Goodfellow Teacher of the Year Contest!

The Detroit Goodfellows announced today the winner of the fifth annual Goodfellow Teacher of the Year contest — Elizabeth Kolesar, a fifth grade math teacher at Beteacherofyear2014nnett Elementary School, in Detroit!

Detroit Goodfellows board members surprised Kolesar at a school event with the news and presented her with a $200 gift card to buy classroom supplies. Additionally, she will be acknowledged at the Detroit Goodfellows Annual Tribute Breakfast this fall.

The Goodfellows Board of Directors selected the winning teacher from nominations by Detroit Public School students in grades 3 through 8 who designated their favorite teachers by answering the question: “Why is your teacher so special?” in 50 words or less.  There were over 750 entries this year. Kolesar received 20 nominations.

Isabella Mouat, an 11-year-old, fifth-grade, Bennett Elementary student, submitted the winning nomination. Her entry says: “My teacher is special because she cares about how we do things. Even though other teachers do too, it seems like she cares more. She helps us with everything. She makes us count. She thinks of us as smart kids. She makes us believe in ourselves and she makes us learn what we do not know. She is the bestest teacher ever. She does not care about how we look or what our skin color is. She just cares about our education. She makes us matter!”

Kolesar has been at Bennett Elementary for two years and with Detroit Public Schools for 15 years. The fifth grade math teacher is a resident of Ypsilanti.

The Detroit Goodfellows sponsors the Goodfellow Teacher of the Year contest to show its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Detroit Public School administrators, teachers and support staff who, each year, work so diligently to identify students in need of its holiday gift packages.  The 100-year-old charity’s mission is to ensure that there is “No Kiddie Without a Christmas.”

Founded in 1914, the Detroit Goodfellows is the original and oldest Goodfellow organization and is not affiliated with any other Goodfellow group. It also sponsors an emergency dental program for children, awards scholarships through Wayne State University, provides free shoes to children in need and helps send hundreds of needy children to camp each summer.

For more information about the Goodfellow Teacher of the Year contest or the Detroit Goodfellow organization, please contact Sari Klok-Schneider at (586) 775-6139 or via email at For more information, visit


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