A Genesee County educator known for dedication to help students succeed in the classroom and to develop as individuals has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Nick Bierman, teaches social studies at Swartz Creek High School, which 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 Bierman will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Bierman said he was attracted to a career in education because “I’ve always enjoyed working with and helping others. The high school setting is perfect for me.”
He said his favorite part of being an educator is “the relationships I build personally and professionally. Plus, I am able to challenge myself and my students each and every day!”
Bierman said the opportunity to help his students motivates him to do his best each day. “Knowing that I am there for something other than myself and knowing that I have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life is awesome!”
A student nominated Bierman for the Excellence in Education award, describing him as a teacher who creates a comfortable atmosphere that promotes academic development and individualism in his classroom.
“Mr. Bierman has expectations that are reasonable and that he explains well. Mr. Bierman is exemplary with regards to using personal time in aiding students. He never forgets to remind us that he’s always available to help us,” the student wrote.
The student added that Bierman is developing after-school or weekend study sessions to help students prepare for advanced placement examinations. “The gratefulness of the students for this is profound. Furthermore, Mr. Bierman has made himself available to read and score any practice writing essays that we complete independently. That is a substantial commitment, given the potential number of students who might take him up on that offer.”
Bierman earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Alma College and master of arts degree in educational leadership from Saginaw Valley State University. He has been an educator for 18 years, the past 17 with the Swartz Creek Community Schools.
Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation 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.