A Genesee County educator known using art, drama, and community service projects, such as raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, to help his students grow academically and as individuals has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jeremy Love, is a fourth grade teacher at Elms Road Elementary in Swartz Creek. The school is part of the Swartz Creek Community 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 Love will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Love said he was attracted to a career in education because of his “drive to make a difference and make a positive impact on students.”
He said his favorite part of being an educator is “helping students reach their full potential and how them that how their efforts pay off and how they can impact the world.”
Love said his students motivate him to do his best every day. “It’s the students and their excitement, their growth and progress and the opportunity to be create and bring my passions into the classroom and the school. I enjoy providing students extra after-school opportunities, such as the Drama Club, a talent show, and organizing other events, such as a school staff variety show.”
The parent of a former student nominated Love for an Excellence in Education award, describing him as having “unmatched dedication to giving all his students the best possible education while providing countless opportunities for them to expand their thinking in various ways and to know the importance of giving back to the community.
“His classroom approach is based on consistency, respect, and true consideration toward all. Every student who walks the halls of Elms Road Elementary is undoubtedly impacted by Mr. Love’s commitment to inspire all kids to achieve excellence in everything they do,” the nomination said.
“One of the many ways Mr. Love provides motivation to his students is through the arts, and the opportunity for all students to engage in new methods of expression and learning. He leads the Youth Theatre and the elementary Drama Club, which opens the door for every interested student to experience the challenge of hard work and practice, while reaping the rewards of seeing the results of all this effort on the hundreds of faces of the proud family and friends who see the final product on stage!
“Mr. Love provides an engaging message of what it means to consider the hardships of others, especially children, in a time where there is seemingly less and less focus on helping those in need. An example of this is his teachings about the Children’s Miracle Network. Through his leadership, he has offered all students at Elms Road Elementary opportunities to develop creative and meaningful ways to donate to this charity. His class has received the invaluable experience of what it means to set aside personal self-interests and help similar aged children, without any need for recognition.”
The nomination added that as a “fun, yet effective, means to teach, Mr. Love also helps coordinate the school staff variety show. This is an event where teachers get to show off their many talents and provide students and families the opportunity to see their teachers in a new setting, where they may sing, perform jokes, or other acts, all to show students the other side of teachers and gain a greater connection between all.”
The parent wrote that her son, now a 10th grader, “has continued to be inspired by Mr. Love, years after having him as a teacher in fourth grade” and wrote him a letter “thanking him for all the inspiration and learning, and to express how much of a positive impact Mr. Love has had on him to this day.”
Love earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from the University of Michigan-Flint and a master of arts degree in educational technology from Central Michigan University. He has been an educator for 14 years, the last 11 with the Swartz Creek 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.