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Yale honors Macomb High School teacher

Rich Egger
Molly Selders with her husband Brian Powell (left) and her father Michael Selders after she was honored at the September, 2022 Macomb Board of Education meeting.

The Yale Educator Recognition Program honors outstanding high school educators. They are nominated by their former students who are part of the incoming class at Yale.

Nearly 340 educators were nominated for the 2022 Yale Educator Award. They came from 43 states and 21 countries.

48 teachers and 29 counselors were chosen, including Molly Selders, who teaches English at Macomb High School.

“I really enjoy what I do, and I hope that comes through in the classroom,” Selders said in an interview with Tri States Public Radio.

Selders is quick to point out that many teachers played a role in the success of the student who nominated her.

“I think it’s important to note that she wouldn’t be at Yale if I had been her only teacher,” she said with a laugh.

Selders said she feels fortunate to receive positive feedback from current and former students, and that she is humbled the student took the time to fill out and submit the form to nominate Selders.

Selders, who’s been teaching for 21 years, said a recent poll found that 55% of Americans have serious concerns about public education in the U.S.

She found that troubling.

“I see all the things that teachers do every single day. The last two years have required so much from us,” Selder said.

“It doesn’t mean that there aren’t improvements to be made. But I have the pleasure of working with so many people who are just as dedicated, do just as much for students, and I hope that they hear all kinds of wonderful accolades as well because they deserve it.”

Selders said she learned a long time ago that students can’t learn unless they feel safe and feel that adults are invested in them. So Selders said her classroom is a place where students can try things and fail, where they will be respected, and where they can express all kinds of things in their writing.

“I set rigorous expectations for them, but they’re willing to work hard because they also know I work hard for them,” she said.

Selders said that every day as students leave her classroom she tells them that she looks forward to seeing them the next day.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.