Livingston County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Karen Storey (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Karen Storey (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

A Livingston County educator known for her dedication to her students and community – creating a therapy dog program for the Brighton school district and co-founding a non-profit to help local families dealing with life-altering illnesses – has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Karen Storey, worked as a special education teacher for 12 years and for the past seven years has served as a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) facilitator, providing supplemental, targeted and intense interventions for Maltby Intermediate School students requiring additional support. The school is part of the Brighton Area School District.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Storey will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Storey said she always wanted to be a teacher and follow the example of her mother “a Brighton teacher for 35 years. She is my true inspiration and role model.” She added that she grew up in Brighton and attended Brighton schools.

She said her favorite parts of being an educator are “the passion and love from our community.  The support we receive for all of our kids from our parents, Parent Teacher Organization, local businesses, and others is what a community is about.”

Karen Storey is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Karen Storey is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Storey said her students and colleagues motivate her to do her best each day. “I have an opportunity to make an impact on each and every person that I come into contact with.  My hope is to spread the kindness that is given to me each and every day with my students that I teach every day.”

The superintendent of the Brighton Area Schools, Gregory Gray, described her as “an example of an educator who gives her love and devotion to the entire community. She also is one of the most influential members of our community when it comes to school-community relations and the social-emotional learning aspect of our district.

“She’s an incredible person in our district.  She’s an incredible person in relationship to our community,” he said.  “Karen truly lives and breathes Brighton with her family, her husband, Scott, and her four sons, who all attend Brighton Area Schools.”

“She created our Pack of Dogs program, which is known statewide and nationally. The goal is for the Pack of Dogs to be that welcoming sight, help ease student reluctance and anxiety, provide students with a connection to school that they may have struggled to find otherwise. The dogs don’t judge and allow students to take healthy academic and social emotional risks,” he said.

“The uniqueness of this program is that all of the dogs are owned by the Brighton schools. All the dogs have been paid for by the community with each dog costing about $10,000.  Karen has been the driving force behind this program – volunteering her own time – and with placing 12 dogs in all of the schools and the senior center.”

“She has also brought together a non-profit organization called ‘I Will Right Now,’ which raises money to help families that are really struggling in the Brighton Area school district.”

Storey described herself as co-founder of I Will Right Now and said the organization’s goal is simply to help those who need it. It has paid for funerals, flooring in homes, and also for a trip to Disneyworld for sick child.

Storey earned two degrees from Eastern Michigan University:  a bachelor of science degree in special education and a master’s degree in reading.  She has been an educator for 20 years with Brighton Area Schools.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
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Genesee County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Jason Perrin (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

Jason Perrin (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting his Excellence in Education Award.

A Genesee County educator known for his dedication to help improve the lives of his students and provide them with new experiences, such as trips to Washington, D.C., and for his leadership at his school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Jason Perrin, teaches U.S. history at Hill-McCloy High School, which is part of the Montrose Community Schools. He also coaches three sports.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Perrin will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Perrin said his high school chemistry teacher and the opportunity to coach inspired him to pursue a career in education. He said his favorite parts about being an educator are “witnessing students succeed and ‘figure it out,’ and when students come back and visit!”

Perrin said his students motivate him to do his best each day. “It’s knowing that many of the students need someone to be there and help them.”

A colleague nominated Perrin for the Excellence in Education award nomination, describing him as “very passionate about the kids and community he serves and continuously looking for ways to improve the lives of his students and community.

“Jason also believes in the mission of teaching the whole child and has created those opportunities for his current students at Hill-McCloy High School,” the nomination said.

“In a time where behavioral and social education is paramount, Jason is searching for outside venues to allow our children to experience different cultures, to be open-minded, and prepared for the world experiences they will face soon. He organizes and takes students to Washington, D.C., as well as to the Holocaust Museum in Southfield. No students should fall through the cracks, and Jason has spent his career preventing this from happening.

“Jason has a deep understanding of academic learning and researches the best teaching practices. His nonthreatening approach brings out the best in students and creates a positive school climate. This is the key to producing student leaders who take their experiences from the classroom to their work or collegiate learning arenas,” the nomination said.

Jason Perrin is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Jason Perrin is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“The core concepts of all education programs depend on a leader who can inspire the students and to give them the confidence to go out in the work world and be successful. I can think of no better person to do this than Jason.”

The nomination added that Perrin “takes on leadership responsibilities in and outside of school. He accepts the responsibility to mentor new teachers as well as student teachers to pass on the expertise of his craft. He knows his profession well and He prepares in depth. Jason is constantly learning new teaching and communication strategies which will benefit our district.

“Jason also is constantly promoting school spirit by hosting community gatherings, such as community tailgates, contests, etc., before sporting events to give everyone a sense of pride and a relationship to our high school students.”

Perrin earned a bachelor of science degree in history and earth science from the University of Michigan-Flint and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University. He has been an educator for 19 years, the past 18 with the Montrose Community Schools.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
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Michigan Lottery Temporarily Closes Claim Offices to Help Stop Spread of COVID-19

The Michigan Lottery temporarily closed its regional claim offices to the public today while implementing additional measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Affected are the Lottery offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Saginaw, Sterling Heights, and Lansing. These offices will reopen soon.

Banks that have teamed up with the Lottery to process claims may be open, however, will not be able to process any prize claims.

Lottery prizes of up to $600 may be claimed at retailers and prizes of $601 to $50,000 may be claimed via U.S. mail. Prize claims of $50,001 will continue to be processed by appointment.

The Lottery also is directing its employees to work remotely when possible.

All Lottery drawings will proceed as scheduled.

The Lottery urges players to use social distancing and other measures to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.  Those at higher risk from COVID-19 should avoid non-essential travel.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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Sanilac County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Erin Carlson (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Erin Carlson (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

A Sanilac County educator known for helping students succeed in the classroom and to grow as individuals through community service projects, including a school Giving Closet and placing American flags on the courthouse lawn to recognize veterans, has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Erin Carlson, teaches English, Enrichment, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses for the seventh, eighth and 11th grades at Sandusky Junior/Senior High School in Sandusky, Mich.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district.  One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations:  WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Carlson will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Carlson said she was attracted to a career in education because it offered “the opportunity to connect with students on a daily basis and influence them to work to reach their highest potential.”

She said her favorite parts about being an educator are “relationship building and showing students how to be productive members of society.  Working with the Key Club and the National Honor Society provides many opportunities to do this beyond the classroom walls.”

Carlson said her students motivate her to do her best each day. “I enjoy the opportunity to make a difference each day.  I have been granted so many opportunities in my own life and I want to provide those same opportunities for each of my students.

Erin Carlson is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Erin Carlson is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“I want to make sure all of my students have the opportunity to shine and not just in the classroom setting.  Whether it is in one of my Saturday cooking classes or digging flagpole holes on our courthouse lawn, all students need the opportunity to shine.”

A colleague nominated Carlson for the Excellence in Education award nomination, saying “she leads by example. She puts in thousands of hours of community service side-by-side with her students. She shows kids what it is like to give back to the community. Her giving spirit glows amongst the students and staff of our building. She inspires all of us to give back to our community.”

“As a teacher, she puts in hundreds of hours lesson planning, correcting papers, and designing lesson plans. However, the lessons Mrs. Carlson teaches outside the classroom will forever endure in the hearts and minds of our local youth.

“One of the most important projects she runs is the ‘Giving Closet’ out of her own closet in her classroom. Mrs. Carlson and a few of her students started this project five or six years ago and it has helped to supply our less fortunate students with coats, shoes, hats, gloves etc. She also stores cleaning supplies, food, hygiene products, and other clothing to help our students in need.

“Mrs. Carlson leads the National Honor Society chapter and Key Club group with our colleague George Lasecki. Within those organizations, she helps students to find volunteer activities that help to give back to our community. One of the biggest projects she helps oversee is the Flags of Remembrance Project. Every 4th of July, Patriot Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Flag Day, she and a few dozen kids go up to the courthouse to place close to 500 flags and plaques on the lawn. It is a project that started several years ago that honors our local veterans,” the nomination said.

“Once a month, Mrs. Carlson finds time to help students with life skills like cooking. She has partnered with our local library and hosts a free cooking class for our students. In the summer, Mrs. Carlson helped start the Summer Slide Program that has been running the last two summers. Once a week, faculty and high school students volunteer their time to read and tutor elementary-aged children.

“Her current mission right now is helping students become aware of the importance of mental health,” the nomination said. It added the National Honor Society is responsible for the school’s Sweetheart dance and instead of focusing on the popularity of students the week before the dance, the National Honor Society students and “the king and queen candidates are using their platform to shine a light on the importance of mental health.”

Carlson earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s in educational leadership in administration from Saginaw Valley State University.  She has been an educator for 15 years, the past six years with the Sandusky Community Schools.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
  • Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
  • Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
  • Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
  • Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.
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Michigan Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response

Thank you for being a valuable partner in our efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the announcement of the state’s first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are providing recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of the virus. These recommendations apply at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play. Please take a moment to review the Interim Recommendations to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (March 11, 2020). Information about this outbreak is changing rapidly. You can stay informed by regularly visiting Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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