An Ingham County educator known for her dedication to helping students develop an appreciation and love for English and literature and for challenging them to set and meet personal goals has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jean Eddington-Shipman, teaches advanced placement English at Williamston High School, which is part of the Williamston Community Schools. She has been an educator for more than four decades.
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 Eddington- Shipman 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 Eddington-Shipman with the award at the Breslin Center.
Eddington-Shipman said she chose education as her career because “I love people. It is so exciting to work with teenagers and challenge them to be the best students possible. Plus, my Dad was an educator and he encouraged me to become a teacher and join the ‘family business.’”
She said her favorite part of being an educator is “going to graduation and seeing all my current students crossing the stage and marching into their futures and imagining how they will improve the world.
“I have the best job in America! I can’t wait to arrive at Williamston High School each morning to pass along knowledge to my students. We learn about Poe, Sherlock Holmes, Thoreau, and Shakespeare. We write plays, poems, essays, short stories, and do other creative writing,” she said. “And we share thoughts on the joys and mysteries of life.”
A student nominated Eddington-Shipman for the Excellence in Education award, describing her as “not only a brilliant teacher, but a great woman and a wonderful human being.”
“Mrs. Eddington-Shipman creates an encouraging learning environment for all of us, but that does not stop her from setting challenging goals for all of her students,” the student wrote, adding that she encourages students to submit work for scholarship competitions as well as various writing competitions.
Eddington-Shipman earned a bachelor of arts and a master of arts degree, both from Michigan State University. She has been an educator for 41 years, the last 37 with the Williamston Community Schools.
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.