Meet the Teacher: Dean Buist

Big Rapids High School English teacher Dean Buist flips through a book at the BRHS library. Buist began working at the school this year after spending nine years teaching in Arkansas. (Pioneer photo/Meghan Gunther-Haas)

Editor’s Note: Meet the Teacher is a weekly feature, introducing new instructors in the area. To suggest a new local teacher to be featured in the Pioneer, contact Meghan Gunther-Haas with the instructor’s name and the school in which they work by emailing or calling (231) 592-8382.

BIG RAPIDS — After nearly a decade away from Michigan, Dean Buist recently returned to the Mitten State to take a position at Big Rapids Public Schools this year.

A native of Cutlerville, in Kent County, Buist taught high school English in Hillman, near Alpena, before moving to Arkansas for nine years.

“It was too hot in Arkansas, there were too many snakes and spiders and it was too far from family,” Buist said of why he and his family returned to Michigan. “People say Big Rapids is a small town, but it’s bigger than where I came from, and they say Big Rapids is a good place to raise a family. I find that to be true.”

Buist has a family member in each of the BRPS schools, with a son and a daughter enrolled at Brookside Elementary; a son at Big Rapids Middle School; his wife, Elisabeth, working as a para-educator at Riverview Elementary; and he represents the high school as the 11th- and 12th-grade English teacher.

“My favorite part of teaching is watching the students grow as writers, and learn and do things they didn’t know they could do,” Buist said.

When not in the classroom, Buist likes playing games, such as Chess, with his children. He also likes to watch football and basketball, and is a fan of Michigan State University.


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at

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