Redford Township teacher wins Norwegian Cruise Line’s Giving Joy contest

Teacher nominated by his own daughter

A local school district has an extra $35,000 to spend on students after a teacher walked away with the grand prize.

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A local school district has an extra $35,000 to spend on students after a teacher walked away with the grand prize.

It turns out his 17-year-old daughter nominated him for the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Giving Joy contest in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.

This Metro Detroit teacher has spent years giving back to the Redford Union School District.

He worked with Ford to get 300 air filtration units donated.

The teacher reached out to DMC. They donated 8,000 masks and he even got in touch with the Pistons who donated 100 basketballs.

Now he’s won thousands for the district.

“I was able to get $35,000. That’s not a small amount, and it’s such a blessing,” said the teacher, Shyam Thakker.

He was with his family when he found out about winning the Norwegian Cruise Line’s grand prize.

“Finally they called my name out. I was off my seat and jumping up for joy,” he said.

He has been an educator for nearly 20-years.

The certified science teacher is part of the Redford Union School District’s online curriculum. He teaches middle and high school students.

“They go through a lot of trauma in their lives and building that bond and connection that’s the step that builds a relationship between a teacher and student,” he added.

His daughter, 17-year-old Meera Thakker, is in a different district and one of her teachers was trying to shore up votes.

“One of my teachers sent me an email talking about the cruise line and how teachers could win so I nominated him,” she said.

Just in May the teacher was awarded a special tribute by the state for his work as an educator.

He credits his family for the lifelong desire to help others.

“They gave to me too. I’m giving to others, life is good,” he said.

He won two tickets for an all expense paid seven day cruise and has until 2023 to take the vacation.

Redford Union School District will use the $35,000 prize to improve social and emotional services for students.

Read More: Local and national education headlines

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.