An Ingham County educator known for inspiring students with his positive attitude and motivating them to succeed both in and out of the classroom has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Andrew Chapin, teaches psychology, health and physical education at Mason High School, which is part of the Mason 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 Chapin 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 Chapin with the award at the Breslin Center.
“My parents were both outstanding educators and their example and their positive experiences are why I pursued a career in education,” Chapin said, adding “the students” are his favorite part of being an educator. “They are my family away from home. Going through the ups and downs with them is why I love coming to work.
“I love showing students that learning can be fun! I want them to love school so they’ll want to be lifelong learners. Plus, having a hand in their success makes me passionate about bringing my ‘A game’ to school every day.”
The Mason Public Schools superintendent, Ronald Drzewicki, said Chapin “is well-deserving of this award. Mr. Chapin makes a difference in the lives of students every day. Mason Public Schools appreciates his hard work and dedication to our students.”
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Chapin described him as “touching every student’s heart through his caring personality.”
“Mr. Chapin inspires everyone in the school, whether they have him as a teacher or not. He is a positive influence for every student and staff member. He is highly involved with every group in the school: sports, plays, choir, etc.,” the nomination said.
“He also connects with his students through social media, specifically Twitter, where he provides motivational thoughts for students to help them get through the day. He also offers running practices with any student who desires to attend. He teaches not simply to have a job, but to connect with his students every day and provide a positive influence for anyone.
“It is impossible to walk through his hallway without smiling and receiving a high five. I don’t believe there is a better teacher in the country.”
Chapin earned his bachelor’s degree at Hope College, where he had a double major in psychology and kinesiology. He earned a master’s degree in kindergarten-through-12th grade educational administration at Michigan State University. He has been an educator for 14 years, all at Mason High School.
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.