A Tuscola County educator known for his dedication to helping his students and school and for volunteering for a host of duties in his community has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Matthew Fields, teaches seventh through ninth grade physical education, an athletic training class, and 10th grade world history at Kingston High School, which is part of the Kingston Community Schools. He also serves as a coach for the varsity football team and the junior high school track team.
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 Fields will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
“I have always known I wanted to be a teacher,” Fields said. “I have had several teachers who had a positive influence on my life.”
He said his favorite parts of being an educator are “forming lifelong bonds with students and being able to serve as a mentor to them and give them advice.”
Fields said his students, colleagues, and community motivate him to do his best each day. “I am fortunate to work in a fantastic community with amazing colleagues and outstanding students. They are worth all of the extra effort.”
The Excellence in Education award nomination for Fields said that “he strives for leadership in all things and his effectiveness in the lives of children shines through.”
“His dedication to the community shows,” the nomination, noting that in addition to his regular duties as a teacher and coach, Fields “also volunteers his time to be an after-school tutor, a class advisor, and to run the concession stand for sporting events. He also is a registered official for the Michigan High School Athletics Association (MHSAA) and officiates football, wrestling, and track and field.
“Mr. Fields also is a mentor for junior officials through the MHSAA and helps them learn during Sunday youth football games.”
Fields earned a bachelor’s degree in history, physical education, and health science from Saginaw Valley State University and last year earned master’s degree in education administration. He has been an educator for 10 years, all with the Kingston 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.