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

Linda Holmes poses for a photo with her husband, Grady Holmes, Jr., and great niece, Shina Starr Sanders-Brookins after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Linda Holmes poses for a photo with her husband, Grady Holmes, Jr., and great niece, Shina Starr Sanders-Brookins after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Saginaw County educator known for her dedication to her students and encouraging them to continue with their educations in medical-related fields has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Linda Holmes, teaches a Medical Careers class at the Saginaw Career Complex.  The complex is part of the Saginaw Public Schools district. More than 500 high school juniors and seniors spend half of their school days at the career complex, taking classes to help prepare them for college, advanced technical training or skilled entry-level work.

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 Holmes will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and then on Thursday in Detroit.

Linda Holmes talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

Linda Holmes talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

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

Holmes said her favorite parts of being an educator are “seeing students grow academically and being able to teach from the heart!”

She said she’s motivated to do her best each day “just knowing that I make a difference in the lives of students every day.”

Holmes said she was attracted to a career in education when she was in high school herself. “When I was 16 years old, I was a teacher’s assistant. I enjoyed it and decided that’s what I wanted to do.  I’ve enjoyed it ever since.”

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Holmes describes her as a “devoted and valuable teacher who goes out of her way to make sure the students get a valuable education in her medical careers class.  Her students have gone on to be nurses, doctors, and dentists and all of her former students rave about her dedication to them and helping them to make their education a priority.

“Linda goes out of her way to make sure the students have the tools that they need, even if it means spending her own money on equipment for them.”

Holmes has been an educator for 20 years, all in her current position at the Saginaw Career Complex.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wayne State University and is a registered nurse.  She also earned an occupational health teaching certificate.

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.
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