An Eaton County educator known for leading the teacher collaboration for a Freshmen Academy program to help incoming students adapt to high school and for volunteering to teach academically challenged students and help them succeed has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Becky Carter, teaches ninth and 10th grade English at Charlotte High School, which is part of the Charlotte 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 $1,500 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, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Carter will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Carter said her favorite part of being an educator is “working every day with kids and preparing them for a successful future.” She added that she chose a career in education because of her passion for helping young people learn.
She said that her students motivate her to do her best every day. “Knowing that my effort allows my students to excel both in the classroom and in life makes every day an awesome experience. I also enjoy the collaboration with my amazing colleagues that’s centered around our students.”
Carter’s nomination for the Excellence in Education award described her as an educator “who always asks herself first: ‘What’s best for the kids?’”
She led the collaboration for the Freshman Academy, which is designed to welcome students to the school and “brings them through their first year of high school with a great opportunity for success by helping other teachers collaborate in ways that push the students to reach their potential,” the nomination said.
“In addition to this, Becky does an amazing job of recognizing students who need extra social or academic supports and coordinates our entire freshman team of teachers to support these students. She applies for grants so that we can fund our ‘academy system’ that provides this support for students and works countless hours after school so that we all can be successful in supporting our students.”
The nomination went on to note that Carter “voluntarily takes the most challenging students into her classroom because she knows that she can make a difference in their lives and their academics. This year, she created an entire class of students who need extra academic support because they weren’t successful last year and she is working to teach them the content from two classes over the course of this year so they will not fall behind.
“While doing all this, Becky also serves as a mentor for several young teachers at our school, answering their questions and helping them to become more effective educators.
“In short, Becky makes everyone around her better at what they are doing, whether they are a teacher, an administrator or a student,” the nomination said.
Carter earned a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education from Concordia University and master of arts degree in special education from the University of Phoenix. She has been an educator for 14 years, the last 10 with the Charlotte Public 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.