Watertown High School Spanish teacher Michael Del Bosco stands with Wilson County Schools Director Donna Wright after being named Teacher of the Year at Friday’s annual teacher recognition dinner at Cumberland University.

Watertown High School educator Michael Del Bosco was named Wilson County Teacher of the Year at Friday’s annual teacher recognition dinner.

The event is sponsored by Wilson County Motors and CedarStone Bank.

A longtime educator with Wilson County Schools, Del Bosco taught at Lebanon High School for 14 years and has been with WHS for the last three years.

Among his duties at WHS include instruction in Spanish 1, 2 and 3 (Honors and Regular). He’s also instrumental in helping students prepare for their educations after high school by teaching ACT prep courses.

His love for teaching starts with laying foundations that help build quality relationships.

“Teaching does and is so many things; teaching functions best within good relationships — with administrators, other teachers, and, first and foremost, students,” said Del Bosco. “I know that I can influence and impact the lives of young people in a meaningful and affirmative way in my classroom, at school, and beyond; my students know that I am there to support, motivate, and care for them as students, young adults, and human beings. I try to encourage my students all that I can in class and about anything going on in their lives-because it is just so important to hear words of encouragement from people that care about and love them. I build a positive relationship with each of my students in this way and by talking to them in and outside of class. I love teaching because of the students--building relationships with them is so important and powerful for their futures. You never know the power and impact you can have on your students--it could lead to anything negative or positive. So, I try to impact them all positively! It’s just so important.”

Del Bosco admits teaching is something that he walked into, not knowing what to expect, but he’s so glad he chose that profession. He credits his educational path in college as helping him round out his overall teaching abilities today.

“I was always a good student, so I thought maybe I’d be a good teacher. I loved school on all levels. I graduated from UT-Martin with a double major degree in philosophy and Spanish,” said Del Bosco “I thought that Spanish would be the more practical of the things that I could teach in high school. So, I went with that. My philosophy degree serves me very well when dealing with all kinds of people — including students. It just makes life better by understanding how things work in the world — especially with people. I try to treat everyone like they want to be treated along with trying to educate them. It has served me well.”

With so many highly talented teachers nominated for this award on a yearly basis, Del Bosco said he is humbled by the award.

“It is extremely special. I know there are many other deserving teachers in our county. Several years back, while I was teaching at Lebanon High School, I won teacher of the year there for that school. I made it to the big county award program like last Friday and was disappointed at not winning overall then,” he said. “But I knew my chances were small — again — because there are so many good teachers in our county. So, after receiving the honor and recognition of being Watertown High School Teacher of the Year this past year, I tried harder this time to better tell my story of being a teacher. I tried to mentally prepare myself for whatever happened. I knew that I did my best. I was happy with that. So, when they started reading off the quotes from the recommendation letters, I figured it out. It was amazing! I felt honored. I felt like all the hard work and relationship building had so paid off.”

A large banquet is usually held in the spring for this event, however a combination of tornado cleanup, then the ongoing pandemic forced the banquet to be moved to July. This year’s dinner at Cumberland University was scaled down significantly to comply with pandemic safety guidelines.

With the upcoming school year filled with uncertainties, and anything but a typical and normal year, Del Bosco has this advice for students across Wilson County, “Be patient. Stay safe. Try your best. We, your teachers, love and care about you. We are here for you. Please, don’t hesitate to ask us for whatever you need.”

Del Bosco loves to travel, but now enjoys doing things much closer to home due to the ongoing pandemic. A lover of books, video games, hockey and football — his true love is his wife Frankie.

“She means the world to me and has done so much to help me through the years,” he said.

Frankie Del Bosco teaches world history at Lebanon High School.

Each year, a teacher in every school throughout the county, both public and private, is selected from his/her peers as its teacher of the year. Those teachers complete a packet that details their experience, teaching philosophy and community involvement. Those packets are then delivered to Cumberland University where a panel of education faculty chooses one of the teachers as the Wilson County Teacher of the Year. This is the 22nd year that the award has been given.

— Submitted to the Democrat

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