Longtime Alden-Conger science teacher named Teacher of the Year

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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Last week, David Bosma, a physical science teacher at Alden-Conger Public School, was named 2023 Teacher of the Year at the district.

“Humbling,” Bosma said after learning he won the award. “Listening to the students I had that talked about me as a teacher.

“That’s to me what was so nice is that the kids really appreciated me as a teacher when they went off to college and for stuff.”

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Part of Bosma’s nomination letter stated,”He is hands-on when he teaches us and makes us do it ourselves. He makes the learning experience very fun and enjoyable. He is also very funny and likes to joke around. He helps you when you need help.”

Bosma was selected among two other finalists: Amy Wallin, a guidance counselor, and Stephanie Hallman, who teaches fourth grade.

In total, 28 teachers were nominated, according to Erica Samp, a member of the Teacher of the Year committee composed of Principal Jenny Hanson, three teachers, two retired teachers, two community members and a board member.

Anyone could nominate a teacher.

This is Bosma’s 24th year in the district and 28th in total as a teacher. Prior to joining Alden-Conger, he taught in the Southland School District. He moved to Alden-Conger to be closer to his farm.

“I farm 550 acres of cropland down by Emmons,” he said, where he grows corn, soybeans, oats and Alfalfa.

Bosma actually planned to go into farming before a crisis in the 1980s when land prices fell so far there were record foreclosures and farm debt doubled between 1978 and ’84. That led him to consider another job.

And because he loved science, teaching the subject seemed like a good fit.

“It’s discovery of stuff, figuring stuff out, how stuff works,” he said.

By his estimation, he’s taught 1,200 students over his time at the school.

“Bosma was chosen because of his outstanding dedication not only to the school but to the students,” Samp said in an email. “He has gone over and beyond his duties as a teacher, coach, mentor and advisor. Not only is he an excellent teacher but has been an advisor for our supermileage team that has won countless events in the United States and Europe.

“… He has proven himself time and time again that he not only cares about the education of our students, but cares about our school. He has definitely earned the honor of being chosen teacher of the year.”

Besides teaching, he worked with the school’s First Robotics team, participated in supermileage and helped with science fairs. This is Bosma’s last year teaching, but he plans to continue farming.

Kayla Thunstedt, a junior who was in Bosma’s classroom Monday preparing for a chemistry test, described him as “down-to-earth” and said he would be missed.

She also appreciated his teaching method of letting students figure things out themselves.

“That way when you advance to college … you already kind of know how to do the stuff by yourself without a lot of help,” she said, adding that he was a good teacher who added humor and interaction into the classroom.

“I appreciate the feedback and that I’m making a difference in their lives,” Bosma said.

According to Samp, the nomination process opened in December and closed in January.