2019 Outstanding Utica Community Schools teachers honored
2019 Outstanding Utica Community Schools teachers honored
Posted on 03/13/2019
UCS Oustanding PicturesThree Utica Community Schools have been honored for their commitment to educational excellence.

The teachers – Darcy Mackenzie, of Flickinger Elementary; Shayne Reckling, of Bemis Junior High School; and Christopher Traskal, of Eisenhower High School - have been named UCS teachers of the year for their grade levels and are the district’s nominee for the 2019 Macomb County Outstanding Teacher Award. 

Darcy Mackenzie
Flickinger Elementary
2019 UCS Elementary Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Mackenzie has a relentless commitment to her students and her school.  She ensures that all children in her classroom have opportunities to contribute and be successful.  Her organization, drive, and love for teaching and learning makes her an outstanding educator.

Former students Holden Winningham said: “Mrs. Mackenzie is the nicest teacher in the world and I think everyone needs to know about her! She cares for your activities in and outside of school. We did so many fun things during the year. In the morning she had a fun way to start the day off right with something called ‘Morning meeting’. Which had us learn and have fun at the same time.”

Shayne Reckling
Bemis Junior High School
2019 Junior High Teacher of the Year


Mr. Reckling is an outstanding educator whose passion and commitment to the craft of teaching is evident in his belief that each child he meets can achieve academic success.  Each day Mr. Reckling strives to give his students an equitable experience where he is a model of acceptance and appreciation for all of his students.

Bemis student Allyson King said: “I believe that Mr. Reckling deserves this award because he is an excellent teacher.  Not only does he make his class fun and interesting, but he also gets a great lesson out of every day.”

Christopher Traskal
Eisenhower High School
2019 High School UCS Teacher of the Year

Mr. Traskal is an outstanding educator dedicated to creating an environment where student musicians reach their full potential and develop a life-long passion for performance.  Mr. Traskal is well respected for his ability to create performance groups that appear in concert halls throughout the region, state and nation.  He is an integral reason why Utica Community Schools continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education.

Students Jaclyn Swartz and Kevin Sachs said: “Each of his students has a unique connection with him, and so do each of the families involved in his bands. He puts his heart and soul into his students; he doesn’t have a job, he has a lifestyle.”