A Wayne County educator known for finding creative ways to engage students in science and for providing them with new and creative educational opportunities has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Alicia Brown, teaches science at Vernor Elementary School, which is part of the Detroit Public Schools.
The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards 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 is 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 Brown 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, who recently presented Brown with the award at the Breslin Center.
“I come from a family of educators,” Brown said. “My mother and aunt are lifelong educators. They instilled into me the importance of education at an early age and I decided I wanted to continue that legacy of helping people to learn.”
“My favorite part about being a teacher is helping students grow and learn. It’s priceless when you can see the proverbial light bulb turn on or when you see that ‘Ah ha!’ moment when they really get a concept.
“I make that extra effort each day because I know that the students count on me to be a stepping stone to their future. With an education, their futures are bright and the sky is the limit. I want to be a participant in helping students succeed,” she said.
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Brown described her as a persistent teacher determined to help students learn. “She always says no matter where students begin the year with her that she wants them to be better for having had her for a teacher.”
“She takes pride in bringing relevance and creativity into the classroom by providing a variety of educational opportunities. She has her student ‘scientists’ out on the Great Lakes in a ‘school ship’ to learn about our waters. She has invited General Motors engineers into her classroom as part of ‘A World In Motion’ program to show the career paths that science, technology, engineering, and math can provide,” the nomination said.
“She also has partnerships with professors at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in which they provide materials and also classroom support on conservation and Next Generation Science standards.
“Former students often return to visit her and express their gratitude. Student’s don’t understand what the future may hold for them, but with Alicia looking out for their best interest, it has the potential to be bright.”
The nomination noted that Brown consistently earns top rankings for her performance and she’s a member of team that provides professional development training for teachers across the school district to help them enhance their skills.
Brown holds a bachelor of science degree in education with an elementary emphasis and a master of arts in education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. She has been an educator for 15 years, all with the Detroit public schools district and in her current position for the last 14 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.