A Montcalm County educator known for her commitment to encourage students to read and explore new books and for devoting her own time to help teachers and students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Kathy Maguire, is a media center specialist at Baldwin Heights Elementary School in Greenville. The school is part of the Greenville 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 Maguire 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 Maguire at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.
Maguire said her favorite part of being an educator is “helping teachers and students find the resources they need to excel. It’s also seeing the joy on students’ faces when they find just the right book and it clicks with them and changes their lives.”
Maguire said she was attracted to a career in education because of her father, Morley Fraser, who was a football and baseball coach and teacher at Albion College. “He instilled the love of education in all six kids in our family. In fact, the whole family entered the education field.”
She said she’s motivated to do her best each day because “my father taught me to help ‘win the game’ in every job, so I go the extra mile to help the teachers ‘win the game’ in their classrooms and to ‘win the game’ with students so they know they are valued and respected and that I’ll help them in any way that I can.”
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Maguire described her as “the most upbeat person on our staff” and who “always goes beyond anything that is expected.”
“Our media center is a welcoming, friendly place to be thanks to her caring, diligence and the love of the staff and kids. It’s not unusual for students to stop in the media center after school just to talk to her. Taking time for students never stops for Kathy,” the nomination said, adding that “volunteers are a common sight in our media center because she is so accepting and appreciative of anyone who might want to help.”
Maguire has been an educator for 15 years, the last 11 with the Greenville Public Schools. She attended Alma College and the Moody Bible Institute.
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.