A Genesee County educator known for his dedication to using technology in the classroom to help students learn and prepare them to succeed outside of school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Mike Petty, is the district instructional technology coordinator for the LakeVille Community Schools in Otisville. Petty also is certified as a Google trainer and educates teachers around the state about using technology effectively in their classrooms.
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 segment featuring Petty will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Petty said a special teacher and teaching Sunday school classes led him to a career in education. “I had an inspiring physics teacher in high school and from teaching teens in Sunday school, I decided I wanted to teach.”
He said his favorite part of being an educator is “being able to remind students of the incredible opportunities that lie before them if they will take advantage of them.”
Petty said his belief in the power of education motivates him to do his best each day. “To me, teaching is a calling. It is a great privilege and responsibility. I approach it from a spiritual perspective and give God all the credit for any success I’ve had,” he said.
The Excellence in Education nomination for Petty described “the drive and determination Mike shows to improve classroom instruction.”
“He understands the importance of students using and understanding how to use the latest technology in our classrooms and beyond. If the teachers in any of our buildings need to prepare a lesson that requires technology, Mike not only helps prepare the lesson, but he also shows up in the classroom and helps the teacher implement it. There is no request too big or too small,” the nomination said.
“He has helped our high school teachers incorporate Google Classroom so students can access work from anywhere. He is working relentlessly to make our district digital and paperless. He also started a morning news program in our communications class, which he records and edits with the students.”
Petty earned two degrees from the University of Michigan at Flint: a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a master of arts degree in educational technology. He has been an educator for 24 years, all with the LakeVille 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.