A Macomb County educator known for inspiring excellence in students and colleagues and for her leadership in expanding the use of educational technology has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Kimberly Keith, is a curriculum consultant with the Fraser Public Schools. Keith previously was a teacher at Salk Elementary, which is part of the Fraser Public Schools district.
The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education award program in 2014 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 will be 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 Keith 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 Keith at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
She said her favorite part of being a teacher is simply helping students. “I enjoy seeing children realize they are learning and achieving their goals. Their faces light up and their smiles brighten,” said Keith, who has been an educator for five years, all with the Fraser Public Schools.
Keith said helping students to succeed motivates her to do her best each day. “I am motivated by the student engagement and excitement that happens when students are having fun while learning. I enjoy developing new ways for students to learn, whether it is giving them choices, playing games, or through videos and direct instruction,” she said. “I am now able to teach others how to do this.”
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Keith described her as “inspiring excellence in others by demanding it in them, as well as herself. When a student says he or she isn’t ‘smart enough’ to do something, she figures out a way to engage them and show them that they can. Because she expects her students to succeed, many times they do things they never thought they could. She spends many hours at home searching for new and better ways to teach, grading papers, and developing lesson plans.
“She also works tirelessly to discover the best ways to integrate technology and educational fundamentals into her classroom. She finds and tests new ways to provide better instruction and differentiate among her students. Realizing all students don’t learn the same way or at the same pace, she finds ways to individualize or group similar students together to improve their learning experience. For example, she used an iPad to take students on a virtual tour of Ellis Island.
The nomination went on to note that Keith “is a leader of a team developing and testing the implementation of a new learning management system into the district. She is the ‘go to’ person for technology and how to integrate it with lessons.”
Keith earned a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in education from Jones International University.
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.