Our school mission has always been to educate the “whole child”, including their social and emotional development. Mike’s contribution to this mission, through the delivery of his meaningful, engaging lessons, has made a lasting impact on our school culture. In addition to the rich content he shares with our students, the energy he brings to each classroom is contagious. He has been an inspiration to our staff and students and truly lives the leadership principles he teaches.
Kyrene de las Brisas
We all aspire to make a difference in this world, and some of us in the lives of children, but Mike Sissel has made this a reality. He believes in teaching students the skills to overcome challenges, see themselves as leaders, and believe in themselves. His engaging curriculum and contagious enthusiasm provide the spark that lights many pathways for learning the necessary lifeskills for a positive, productive life. I believe Mike has a special gift to give others…to lift them higher and empower them to become better individuals. I’ve personally seen the impact he’s made on my students, especially those who are hard to reach or motivate. He connects with students, understands who they are, and knows what they need. To them, Mike is a powerful role model who lives what he teaches and believes.
4th grade teacher
Kyrene de las Brisas
Mike Sissel has visited our school twice a month for the past few years, bringing his unique blend of leadership and self-improvement skills to our junior high students. Mr. Sissel has a great connection to the students, and they are free to express their true opinions and feelings in class. He provides the students with skills to improve their self-confidence, and gives them specific options to handle difficult situations. I was impressed with the way he not only provided scenarios for students to work through, but also gave them things to say in order to handle these situations, such as bullying or dealings with difficult people. Many past students have returned to school to visit, and have stated that Mr. Sissel’s visits were the highlights of their weeks. Mr. Sissel has great rapport with students, has a special way of talking to them on their level, and provides specific and useful ways for students to handle difficult situations and improve their leadership skills. He is a valuable member of our school, and has had a significant influence on our students.
Middle School Teacher
Center For Educational Excellence
It is my pleasure to write this testimonial letter for Mr. Mike Sissel, whom I have known as a teacher, consultant and mentor for the past eight years. I first met Mike when he was a teacher in the Kyrene School District and upon visiting his classroom was struck by the level of enthusiasm and engagement of his students. He taught here for a number of years and was selected to be part of the Freedom Writer’s project, working with the founder of that program, Erin Gruwell, an inspiring former teacher who is nationally prominent. The information Mike gained from this experience was shared with his students and they began publishing their writing in the local newspaper on a regular basis.
The professionalism and knowledge Mike has about education are only one part of the wonderful gifts he brings to those who work with him. Another area of expertise that Mike possesses relates to youth leadership development. His unique ability to bring content alive for students is truly an exceptional talent and Mike has worked with a number of us over the years to bring this important information to various groups of students. In particular, Mike assisted me in working with the students who were part of the Student Superintendent Advisory Council (SSAC). Mike helped to bring a whole new focus to the group by collaborating with the students on building their leadership skills and encouraging them to act as role models for their peers.
I would not hesitate to recommend Mike for any role he chooses to pursue. He is a true professional with amazing skills and the kind of person anyone would want to have on his or her team. I wish Mike success in any and all endeavors!
David K. Schauer, Ed.D.
Kyrene School District