Meet March #MICharter Hero: David Pilgreen from Michigan International Prep School

Kyra Biscarner
Mar 1, 2023 12:33:38 PM

Growing up with a mother who was a teacher fostered an early love for education for David Pilgreen, a history teacher at Michigan International Prep School (MIPS).

I do contribute a lot of it to the way I grew up. I grew up in a classroom, every day was a learning experience and it was really nice to be able to take that nurturing of education and make a career out of it. From a young age, I had an impression made upon me from teachable moments and how learning doesn’t just have to take place in the classroom and from 9-3pm in the day. Everything you do is learning and so when it came time to decide what career I wanted to have, education was such a natural fit for me because it was something I had grown up around.”

In his time at MIPS, he has made a very positive impact on his co-workers and students. David’s nomination said he has been essentially helpful in transition from a traditional public school setting to a virtual classroom. 

David is always the consummate professional. As a new teacher at Michigan International Prep School (MIPS), I was brought into the family mode with a very warm welcome. David is one of many that have reached out in order to help me transition from public education to the virtual teacher setting. His calm demeanor, yet flare for education is an attractive trait. As our team lead, he continuously goes above and beyond in order to assure each team member is organized and has what they need both personally and professionally. David is constant in his mentoring of new and current staff, always going the extra mile. David also schedules his time wisely throughout the days and weeks in order to be there for his students. He sets office hours accordingly, not just to teach academic skills, but life-skills as well.” 


David’s nomination also said he understands digital education and brings a fresh perspective as to what the future of education might look like, while still being an educator his fellow teachers, leaders and students can learn from.  

David leads MIPS into a new generational direction with digital education. He understands what is needed in order to close the global achievement gap, while building lifelong relationships with his students on a personal level. David is always there for a chat when needed, whether it be professional or personal, at all times during and after the normal school day. He dedicates himself as a "go-to" for many educational and non-academic issues at MIPS. David is a team leader, teacher, professional, and friend to all.” 

David has been teaching since 2011 and has taught at schools in his home state of North Carolina, Texas and now Michigan and taught both in brick and mortar schools and now in a virtual setting. David said there is a real difference between the different school choice options.

When I taught at a charter school in Texas, there was a difference working in a brick and mortar setting. One of the things that is really nice about the virtual setting is that there are a lot more opportunities for one-on-one conversations that simply don’t happen in a brick and mortar because of the setting. The virtual school really allows you to get to work with your students and get to know them in a way that the brick and mortar doesn’t always get to.”

When David talked about his love of education, he said it came from his mom and learning from her teachable moments. David said another influential person on his education journey was his methods professor in college. 

My methods professor in college always gave this speech that because we were history teachers we were standing on the front lines of democracy and democracy depended on our ability to communicate ideas of history and government with our students. When I think about class and working with our students that’s what I think about. These things that my students are learning in class, while really important for this class and the next few months, are going to prepare them to be productive citizens in our country.” 

Taking these ideas, David said he wants students to be able to take the skills they learn in his history classes and apply them to their future lives. 

I tell students all the time, nobody is going to stop them on the sidewalk and ask them what the importance of the war of 1812 was, that doesn’t happen. But you are going to be asked throughout your life to look at situations where you have to decide between two opposing ideas. You have to listen to the ideas of both sides and then make the best decision you can and in history class, that’s what we do every day.” 

Subscribe by Email

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think