A Bay County educator known for seeking out opportunities to help her special education students learn, develop and transition to regular classrooms has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jessica Provoast, teaches in a self-contained classroom for emotionally impaired students at Lindsay Elementary in Bay City. Lindsay Elementary is part of the Bay City 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 Provoast 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 Provoast at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
She said her favorite part of being an educator is “seeing the growth in each student from the start of the year through the end of the year. Along with that, it is sharing that growth with each student and to see their pride in themselves grow as they take on each new task or challenge and realize that they can do it!”
Provoast said helping out at an elementary school when she was a senior in high school led her to a career in education. “I loved it and found myself drawn to the students who seemed to need that extra help and extra attention. As a result of that, I decided to go into special education.”
She said being able to help students develop motivates her to do her best each day. “All of the little victories throughout the day keep me constantly motivated to keep pushing the kids to excel to the best of their ability. The little victories being anything that causes students to feel pride in themselves and anything that causes a student to smile.”
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Provoast described her as “exceptional in all areas. The time she invests in her students is enormous, going to school early and staying late with after-school programs for them.
“She is always searching for unique opportunities for her pupils to encounter and experience new things in a positive way. She expands their horizons with field trips outside of the classroom and bringing mentors into the classroom. Her dedication does produce results, as evidenced when special students are able transition to the regular classrooms. She is so proud of each and every student. I can hear the love in her voice as she describes their accomplishments,” the nomination said.
Provoast earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University. She has been an educator for 16 years, all with the Bay City Public Schools, and in her current position for the last 11 years.
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.