John Berlin: DLS Teacher of the Year

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Congratulations to De La Salle Collegiate Theology Teacher Mr. John Berlin. 

Mr. Berlin has been nominated by his faculty peers as the DLS Candidate for the Bishop John M. Queen Excellence in Catholic Teaching Award. The finalist will be named at a June 4 Dinner, sponsored by the Catholic Schools Office. 

Mr. Berlin joined the DLS Faculty in 2016, following a long career as a firefighter for the Detroit Fire Department. In addition to teaching, Mr. Berlin is one of the DLS JV Football Coaches. 

His nomination noted: “John has been a part of the DLS faculty for the past two years. In that short time, he has been a consistent presence and supporter of nearly every activity DLS has to offer – from the stage to the field, and everything in between.”

Teachers are selected at each Archdiocesan secondary and elementary school, and must be someone who exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher and one who serves as a role model for students, instilling in all students a love of Christ and learning. 

His nomination also noted, “John’s guidance inside the classroom as a member of the Theology Department has encouraged students to make thoughtful and considerate decisions about their path toward Christ.”

President Mr. John M. Knight has high praise. “John Berlin is a deeply faith-filled man. John is the type of person that I would want to teach my children! He is caring, compassionate and always centered on the student. We are blessed to have John as a part of our faculty.”

 “Mr. Berlin is a catalyst for infectious positivity amongst the students wherever his is present. He truly cares for our students and has a wonderful, ever-present smile!” said Principal Mr. Steve Stewart. 

Mr. Berlin spent 19 years in emergency fire response, and then oversaw the construction of a new training academy. He finished his career as Deputy Fire Commissioner. 

Mr. Berlin also is a retired Chief Petty Officer with the U.S. Naval Reserve. The majority of his 30-year career was spent with the Marine Corps Units. He received numerous awards, including recognition of his combat action. He served two tours in the Middle East. 

Mr. Berlin is also active at St. Isaac Jogues  Parish, in St. Clair Shores, and its parish festival. He is active at the St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen. Mr. Berlin has coached football, basketball, and football and is a former board member of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). 

Mr. Berlin and his wife Laura have been married 34 years, and have three grown children, and two grandchildren. His children all attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school, and his son Padriac, is a DLS alumnus, Class of 2009. 

Mr. Berlin attended the University of Detroit Mercy. 

His leisure time is spent with family, physical strength and conditioning, and reading. He promotes the four F’s: faith, family, friends, and fitness model for happiness. 





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