Bay County Educator Wins Excellence in Education Award from the Michigan Lottery

Jill Moore (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

Jill Moore (right) poses for a photo with Michigan Lottery public relations director, Jeff Holyfield, after accepting her Excellence in Education Award.

A Bay County educator known for her dedication to help students grow academically and as individuals and for starting a nationally recognized anti-bullying program at her school has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Jill Moore, teaches 10th grade English at Bay City Central High School, which is part of the Bay City 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 Moore will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Moore said she was attracted to a career in education because “I grew up in a house with both parents as teachers and coaches. My parents and the other teachers and coaches that I had over the years as a student all made an incredibly positive impact on my life and I wanted to do the same for others.

“You have to have a passion for what you do. You have to look toward the future.  You have to listen to the kids.  Being able to teach is a gift. That’s how I look at each day.  I get to work with some amazing people. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“I love helping students believe in themselves.  They face challenges in and out of the classroom and I do my best to encourage them through each situation.  Their determination is so valuable, and I want them to know I support them, and they have the ability to achieve anything and overcome anything,” she said.

Moore said her students motivate her to do her best each day in the classroom.  “My students bring me so much energy and they inspire me to be positive and work hard every day.  Some of them show up each day and wait at my door with a smile on their face.  They share their stories and they tell me about their lives. What an honor!

Jill Moore is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

Jill Moore is interviewed after being presented with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

“They start my day off with kindness.  How can I not pass that on?  How can I not invest 100 percent of my heart into my students when it’s so obvious to me that in their own way, they are excited to be here with us at school? When I have students stop by my classroom to check in, wave, fist bump, or even offer ideas for our Anti-Bullying Club, that motivates me,” she said.

“The students who care make me dig deeper and help me remember what a gift each day is and how lucky I am to be an educator.”

A student nominated Moore for the Excellence in Education award, describing her as “dedicated to changing lives, one student at a time, and not just by academics. She is compassionate, helpful and all around an amazing person.”

“Ms. Moore has faced so many challenges in life, but she is still there, at work and goes above and beyond her job description, to make sure her students are safe and happy people,” the student wrote.  “Ms. Moore was in a bad car accident last school year, but she bounced back.

“Ms. Moore also runs our Anti-Bullying Program/Club, and she runs it well, with the help of the student body. The Anti-Bullying Club, does more than just have meetings, we conduct presentations at our area schools, including our own,” the nomination said, adding:  The program has attracted national attention and won a national award, the 2017 PACERs “Together Against Bullying Award.”

“Ms. Moore has changed my life tremendously. Without her, I would not be the leader I am today. I credit Ms. Moore because she saw the potential that I did not see in myself,” the student wrote.

The student said Moore nominated him for the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, which he received.  The National World War II Museum presents the award each year to one student from each state and the District of Columbia who “demonstrates the American Spirit in his or her community.”

The nominator wrote that “mine is certainly not the only life she has changed or will change, but I am very grateful for what she has done for me and I cannot wait to see how she impacts the lives of other students because she is a world changer!”

Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in education from Marygrove College. She has been an educator for 20 years, the last 19 with the Bay City Public Schools.

Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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.
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