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

Joseph Lacey (left) poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Joseph Lacey (left) poses for a photo with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo after accepting his Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

A Wayne County educator known for his personalized attention to students, including after school tutoring for those who need extra help and serving as an Academic Games coach, has been honored with an Excellence of Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Joseph Lacey, is a sixth-grade math teacher at the Clippert Academy in Detroit. The multicultural magnet middle school is part of the Detroit Public 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 Lacey will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and then on Thursday in Detroit.

Joseph Lacey (center) works with students in his classroom at the Clippert Academy in Detroit.

Joseph Lacey (center) works with students in his classroom at the Clippert Academy 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 Lacey at the Breslin Center and presented him with the award.

Lacey said his favorite part of being an educator is “working with my students. I love seeing my students experience that ‘Ah ha!” moment when they understand a new concept. I also enjoy challenging myself to be creative in how I deliver lessons to my students.”

He added the memories of the influential teachers he had as a child inspire him to do his best every day. “I think back to my childhood and realize and appreciate the effect my teachers had on my life. I hope to do the same thing for my students,” he said, adding that his seventh-grade math teacher, Rose Nagy, influenced him to choose education as a career.

Lacey has been an educator for five years and has been teaching at the Clippert Academy for the past three years. In addition to his classroom duties, Lacey also coaches Clippert Academy’s Academic Games team. The Academic Games use competition to encourage and motivate students to sharpen their skills in math, English, social studies, and logic.

Lacey earned two bachelor of arts degrees, one in elementary education and the other in secondary education, from Baker College.

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.
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