Nominations Encouraged for Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education Awards to Honor Outstanding Educators

Michigan Lottery Excellence in EducationThe Michigan Lottery is encouraging parents, school staff members, students, and others to nominate outstanding public school educators for the 2017-18 Excellence in Education awards.

All public school employees may be nominated for the awards, which recognize educators who go “above and beyond” to make a difference in the lives of children. To nominate an outstanding public school educator, go to:

One outstanding educator will be selected each week and will receive a $1,500 cash prize as well as a $500 grant to their classroom, school or school district. One of the weekly award winners will be selected to receive the Lottery’s Educator of the Year award and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Each winner also will receive a plaque and be featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV, Saginaw. Excellence in Education nomination also may be submitted at the websites for the four TV stations.

The winner of the Educator of the Year award for the 2016-17 school year was Linda Holzwarth, a social studies teacher at Portage West Middle School.  The school is part of the Portage Public Schools.

Tom Izzo, the Michigan State University men’s basketball coach, presented Holzwarth with the $10,000 prize May 24 during a surprise visit to a student assembly at Portage West Middle School.  About 700 students, faculty, and staff cheered as Izzo announced that Holzwarth had won the award.

More than 500 educators from across the state were nominated during the third year of the educational awards program and 34, including Holzwarth, were selected to win a weekly award.

The winner of the 2016 Educator of the Year award was Daniel Carr, a Spanish and sports marketing teacher at Waverly High School in Lansing.  The school is part of the Waverly Community Schools district. The 2015 award winner was Michael Craig, a special education teacher at the Charles Drew Transition Center. The school is part of the Detroit Public Schools district and serves about 600 young adults with special needs.

Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on:

  • 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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