Meet the teacher: William Prenkert Jr., Niles New Tech

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: William (Bill) W Prenkert Jr.

School: Niles New Tech

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: 10th-grade marketing and 12th-grade accounting

Bill Prenkert Jr.

Where did you attend college? Western Michigan University

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? This fall is the start of my eighth year, all with the Niles School District.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? I left the business world to teach because I wanted to make a difference in young people’s futures and felt that my business experience would be beneficial to them.

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Spending time at our lake house, fishing, enjoying my grandchildren.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I love to sing karaoke.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? James Bond, I think he is very cool.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? Fishing, football and hanging out with friends.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Firm yet fair.

Who is your biggest role model and why? My wife, she does her job with a believable amount of pride, emotion, encouragement and dedication. She is the reason I became a teacher.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? This is hard for me to say since I have only been teaching for seven years now. However, I think that we are beginning to see a shift back to the trades and away from the higher educational focus that is needed in the business world of today.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Stay involved with all the aspects of their educational experience and encourage their chosen path whatever it may be.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… That they all have the opportunity to make a difference in the work force and that they can achieve whatever it is they focus their passion on.

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