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Special education teacher surprised with 'Teacher of the Week' win

13 ON YOUR SIDE has been having a blast surprising West Michigan educators as they're chosen for Teacher of the Week.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — We’ve got another exciting Teacher of the Week! 13 ON YOUR SIDE has been having a blast surprising our West Michigan educators with this news. We stopped by Grand Haven High School this time, and you can see in the video how everyone got in on the celebration.

As the cheering begins, you can see the shock and confusion all over Jeff Troupe’s face when we surprised him with that news that he had been chosen as our Teacher of the Week.

He was born and raised in Grand Haven and is not the only member of his family serving students.

He said, “My father was superintendent of the ISD many, many years ago.”

Troupe is a graduate of Grand Valley State University who initially, “did psychology and had no idea what I wanted to do,” he said. That is, until his sister recommended a volunteer opportunity at the school where she was working.

“Immediately fell in love with students and I thought that Grand Haven had given me so much in my life that I wanted to give back to the community that was so good to me,” said Troupe.

His students sharing in the excitement. Zidane is a senior at Grand Haven High School and he’s had Mr. Troupe for all four years. He said, “I’m feeling excited for him. It’s been a good year with Mr. Troupe. He’s a fun teacher.”

Troupe’s colleagues were also overjoyed over his win, many of them pitching in to help with the surprise.

“Oh my gosh, today was amazing. Jeff Troupe is an inspiration to all of us,” said Melissa Richardson, who’s also a Grand Haven High School special education teacher. She’s been teaching alongside Troupe for 13 years, but the two have known each other longer than that.

“She was one of the teachers that I student-taught for going through the College of Ed at Grand Valley,” said Troupe.

His assistant principal, Gina Schmitt, praises him for a choosing a job many say takes a special set of skills.

“He is super inclusive of all kids, all people, all teachers. He’s funny, he just – I don’t know – he brings out the best in people and I really appreciate who he is as a person but also as a teacher.”

Troupe said, “Even on those tough days, it’s something that is going to make people better. It’s going to make the community better. This is what fills my cup.”

Outside of school, Troupe serves on the board of Gracious Grounds, an organization which helps to provide independent housing to people with unique abilities.

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