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

Lisa Scholten (center) poses for a photo with Beagle Elementary School principal, Dawn Kennaugh (left), and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Lisa Scholten (center) poses for a photo with Beagle Elementary School principal, Dawn Kennaugh (left), and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo after accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

An Eaton County educator known for making learning exciting and fun and motivating students to achieve academic success has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Lisa Scholten, is a sixth-grade teacher, at Beagle Elementary School in Grand Ledge. The school is part of the Grand Ledge 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 Scholten will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening in Detroit.

Lisa Scholten (right) talks with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo prior to accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

Lisa Scholten (right) talks with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo prior to accepting her Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo. Izzo met recently with Scholten at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.

Scholten said that her favorite parts about being an educator are “working with students and building a relationship with each student and seeing that light bulb come on” when they grasp a concept or idea.

She added that she’s inspired to do her best every day in the classroom “by the students and my passion for teaching. I’m hoping to make a difference in the lives of my students.”

Scholten earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. She has been teaching for 17 years, the last eight in the Grand Ledge Public Schools district and has been in her current position for the past two years.

Scholten was nominated for the Excellence in Education award by a former student’s mother, who wrote that “Ms. Scholten was funny, nice, understanding, and expected excellence in her students and their academic success. She genuinely cares about the well-being of her students, current and former. She makes that extra effort and takes the time to listen to them, get to know them and encourage them when they’re struggling or excelling.”

The mother noted in her nomination that for her son Scholten brought out “an eagerness to learn, a willingness to participate, creativity and a drive to succeed that we’d never seen before, or since. There were so many small moments that affected both my son and the children in her class in such profound ways. She was a turning point for my son and without a doubt the most influential educator in my son’s academic career.”

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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