An Ingham County educator known for working tirelessly to find new resources to support students with autism and their families and exploring new techniques to help her students learn has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Amy Chabot, teaches in a special education classroom for students with autism at North Elementary School in Lansing. The school is part of the Lansing School 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 Chabot 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 Chabot at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
She said her favorite part of being an educator is “seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces whey they figure out something and are successful in school,” adding that “watching kids be accepted, no matter what” is a close second.
Chabot said having a family member with special needs led her to a career in education. “I saw that all students could succeed and I wanted to show people that every student can learn and grow, if they have the proper support and the opportunity,” she said.
She said her students motivate her to do her best each day, because “my students need an advocate and someone who understands their needs.”
A colleague nominated Chabot for the Excellence in Education award, describing her as “the epitome of an excellent educator.”
“She dedicates her entire being to the students and their families. She is endlessly searching for resources, modifying the typical learning techniques, and advocating for the autism population, all while pursuing her doctoral degree,” the nomination said. “Mrs. Chabot is also an excellent coworker as well as a friend. She listens to other’s ideas and asks for input. It’s truly a collaborative effort in her classroom. She has impacted my life as well as the lives of all her students.”
Chabot has been an educator with the Lansing School District for five years and in her current position at North Elementary for the past three.
She has earned two degrees from Eastern Michigan University: a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education with an emphasis on special education for emotionally impaired students and a master of arts degree in autism spectrum disorders. She currently is working on her doctorate in urban education at Eastern Michigan.
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.