A Macomb County educator known for the personal attention that she gives each of her special education students, including tutoring on her own time, and for helping them develop social skills has been honored with an Excellence of Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Kim Mize, is a special education teacher at Davis Junior High School, in Sterling Heights. The school is part of the Utica Community Schools district.
The Michigan Lottery recently established the Excellence in Education awards to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year.
Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $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, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Mize will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and then on Thursday in Detroit.
For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo. Izzo met recently with Mize at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
Mize said her favorite part of being an educator is “seeing my students learning new things and smile, knowing that they achieved the task.”
She added that her students inspire her to do her best every day. “I’m motivated by watching my students realizing their talent and developing a love for learning.”
Mize has been an educator for 21 years, for the first 11 years as a para professional and the last decade as a teacher. She’s been in her current position, teaching special education students in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades for the past six years.
She said she was attracted to a career in education because it gave her opportunity to “make a difference in the lives of students.”
Mize was nominated for the Excellence in Education award by the parent of one of her students, who has autism. The nomination noted: “Mrs. Mize works wonders with all of her students by treating them as individuals and working with them to see what will help them become most successful with their particular needs. She has helped (my son) learn not only academics, but how to act appropriately socially, at restaurants and with his peers. She tutors the students on her own time and shows an interest in their success not only while they are in her class, but for their future.”
Mize earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education.
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 will be 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.