A Macomb County educator known for the individualized attention that she provides each student and her focus on helping them to succeed both in and out of school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Susan Mokrzycki, is a special education teacher specializing in English, social studies, and science at Warren Mott High School, which is part of the Warren Consolidated Schools.
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 Ms. Mokrzycki will air Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and Thursday evening 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 Ms. Mokrzycki at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
Ms. Mokrzycki said she decided to pursue a career in education because she wanted “to help troubled teens become successful.” She spent the first part of her career teaching in a court-placed day treatment program and then in a secure residential children’s treatment facility. Ms. Mokrzycki currently teaches English to ninth grade resource room students at Warren Mott High School, the high school from which she graduated.
“One of my favorite parts of being an educator is watching a student’s face light up when they grasp a concept for the first time. Another favorite part is helping to build confidence in my students,” she said adding that her students inspire her every day to “teach from my heart and do all that I can to help my students succeed.”
Ms. Mokrzycki has been an educator for 23 years, the last 13 with the Warren Consolidated Schools. She earned a bachelor of arts in English from Wayne State University and a master of arts in teaching from Saginaw Valley State University.
The mother of a former student nominated Ms. Mokrzycki for the Excellence in Education award. In the nomination, the parent described how Ms. Mokrzycki provided individualized attention for her daughter and other students and briefed other teachers about their educational needs to help them succeed.
The mother noted that with Ms. Mokrzycki’s help, her daughter graduated from high school last June, but decided to delay her dream of taking classes at the local community college. “But that’s not where the story ends! Out of the blue, we received an email from Ms. Mokrzycki and she asked my daughter if she would take a class with her at Macomb Community College. Because of this wonderful, dedicated woman, my daughter is back on track to follow her dreams,” she wrote, adding that Ms. Mokrzycki was “spending her own money on a class that she doesn’t need because she believes in my daughter. She has gone from teacher to friend and is truly a mentor to my daughter.”
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.