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

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

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

An Oakland County educator known for using trips to Costa Rica and other places to teach students about science and the environment and for his dedication to help students learn and succeed has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Kevin Cousino (pronounced COO-SE-NO), teaches science, biology, and advanced placement environmental science at Walled Lake Northern High School, which is part of the Walled Lake Consolidated 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 Cousino will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Cousino said he was attracted to a career in education because he wanted “to work with and help shape our future leaders.”

He added that his students motivate him each day in the classroom because “if I do a good job, I can inspire students to want to learn more.”

A student’s mother nominated Cousino for the Excellence in Education award, describing him as “a very inspiring teacher who is very much loved by his past and current students! He is an extremely positive teacher who loves teaching and his students.”

“What students learn in Mr. Cousino’s class is how to think about their world and the impact mankind has on it. He asks probing questions that students grapple with to build on the science targets being taught in his classroom. Students don’t have to agree with Mr. Cousino to voice their options. He just requires them to back up their ideas with evidence,” the nomination said.

The nomination said that her daughter was a member of a group of students that Cousino took on a nine-day visit to Costa Rica “to learn firsthand about the diverse environment there as well as the environmental polices in place to protect it.

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

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

“This trip was a very powerful learning experience. My daughter was able to observe relationships among species, ecological environments, and meet students in very poor rural areas and gain global perspectives on education.

“He frequently takes groups of students to Costa Rica, a country with rich ecosystems, and teaches his students to give back to the people. Students traveling with him are asked to bring loads of classroom supplies to help the students of there. He takes students to a local school to meet with the students in these schools to learn about their schooling and culture. He also takes them to local areas to teach how to protect our environment.

“Mr. Cousino also has provided lots of local opportunities for students to experience engaging outdoor environmental activities.

The nomination added that Cousino also is “a leader in so many ways. He was appointed a leader in a federal challenge grant involving schools in three different states to help teachers collaborate and develop lessons to share. He helps teachers in the district learn computer programs. Lastly, he maintains a connection to his past students, helping them navigate through the challenges of college and careers.

We feel very blessed that Mr. Cousino was my child’s teacher, mentor, and inspiration. He is the teacher who has inspired my daughter to want to major in environmental science!”

Cousino earned an associate’s degree from Schoolcraft Community College, a bachelor’s degree in biology and education from Eastern Michigan University, and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Wayne State University. He has been an educator for 26 years, all with the Walled Lake Consolidated School District.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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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Fenton Man Wins $585,204 Fantasy 5 Jackpot

A Fenton man hopes winning a $585,204 Fantasy 5 jackpot is the start of a lucky streak.

The lucky player, who chose to remain anonymous, matched the Fantasy 5 numbers drawn on Oct. 5 to win the big prize: 10-11-12-13-23. He bought his winning ticket at Locke’s Party Store, located at 1228 North Leroy Street in Fenton.

“Last fall, I won $5,000 playing Lucky For Life, $2,500 playing Lotto 47, and $1,000 on an instant game all in a few weeks,” said the 70-year-old player. “I’m hoping this is the beginning of another streak like that and the prizes keep getting bigger!

“When I first saw the numbers that were drawn, I figured the jackpot was going to roll again because the numbers were all pretty close together. When I looked at my ticket later, I knew right away I’d won.”

The player visited Lottery headquarters recently to claim the big prize. He plans to share some of his prize with his family and then save the remainder.

“I’d say I have some new lucky numbers. I’ll never forget 585204,” the player said.

Each Fantasy 5 play is only $1. For an additional $1 per play, EZmatch may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a chance to win up to $500 instantly. For an additional $1 per play, Double Play may be added to a Fantasy 5 ticket, giving players a second chance to win up to $110,000 in the nightly Double Play drawing. Fantasy 5 players select five numbers from one to 39. Players who match all five Fantasy 5 numbers drawn win a jackpot that starts at $100,000. Fantasy 5 drawings are held seven days a week at 7:29 p.m. Tonight’s Fantasy 5 jackpot is $100,000.

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

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

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

An Ingham County educator known for her dedication to helping her students succeed and inspiring them to do their best every day has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Tracey Luce, teaches sixth- through eighth-grade history and geography at the Mid- Michigan Leadership in Lansing.

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 Luce will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Luce said she was attracted to a career in education because “I love working with children and it is so important to me to provide a safe space for them.”

“The best part of being an educator is seeing students learn to believe in themselves and strive for success,” she said.  “The love that I have for my students motivates me every day.  I want to help them be the best they can be.”

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Luce noted that “she inspires her students to succeed every day. She inspires them to be their best every day and go above and beyond.”

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

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

“The relationships she has built with her students and their families inspire her students to believe in themselves and know that they can do great things,” the nomination said.  “Her students know that she provides a safe space for them to discuss anything from LGBTQ issues to family problems to normal middle school drama. They always know that Ms. Luce has their back for anything.”

The families of most of Luce’s students can’t afford to buy the books that their children want, the nomination said.  “Ms. Luce has contacted families and asked what books their kids would like, as well as asking students what they would like. Then she goes to bookstores and buys books for the classroom so that there are books for the kids to read and enjoy. She even lets kids pick books off a book order form and buys books from there as well.

“One of the things that her students look forward to the most is her ‘A’ party that she has at her house for the students who get A’s on their finals. Ms. Luce provides transportation, if needed, makes a meal, buys drinks, dessert, and sets up games or movies for all the kids. The kids all have a blast. She also sends all of the leftovers home with the kids so that they have food at home when they need it.”

“Ms. Luce also is a leader in her building, helping to coordinate activities and events such as the eighth grade recognition ceremony. Her experience and familiarity with the families of the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy leads other staff members to ask her for advice and suggestions on dealing with students and parents.”

Luce earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education with a minor in history from Michigan State University. She has been an educator for 20 years, the last six with the Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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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$1 Million Powerball Ticket Expires; Prize Goes to State School Aid Fund

A $1 million Powerball ticket expired today and the prize went to the state School Aid Fund.

The ticket expired at 4:45 p.m. It was purchased at the Speedway gas station located at 10070 Highland Road in Hartland.

Powerball tickets are valid for one year from the date of the drawing.

It was the third $1 million prize to go unclaimed in 2019 after $1 million Mega Millions prizes went unclaimed in March and earlier this month.

The record for an unclaimed Lottery prize in Michigan was set in 1998 when a $34 million prize went unclaimed. The winning Michigan Lotto game ticket was purchased at the Meijer located at 1350 West Lake Lansing Road in East Lansing.

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Only a Few Hours Left to Claim $1 Million Powerball Prize With Ticket from Hartland Retailer

Michigan Lottery PowerballOnly a few hours are left for someone to claim a $1 million Powerball prize or it goes to the state School Aid Fund! The ticket expires at 4:45 p.m. today.

A lucky player matched the five white balls – 41-53-59-63-66 – drawn Oct. 3, 2018 to win $1 million. The player purchased the winning ticket at the Speedway gas station located at 10070 Highland Road in Hartland.

The winner should contact the Michigan Lottery Public Relations Division at (517) 373-1237 to schedule an appointment to collect the big prize. The prize must be claimed at the Lottery’s headquarters in Lansing.

Powerball tickets are valid for one year from the drawing date.

If the prize isn’t claimed before the ticket expires, the money will go to the state School Aid Fund. It would be the third $1 million prize to go unclaimed in 2019. $1 million Mega Millions prizes went unclaimed in March and September, respectively.

Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state and online at MichiganLottery.com. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to 10 times to a maximum of $2 million may be added to any Powerball play for only $1.

The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and may be watched live online at: http://www.powerball.com. Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

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