An Ingham County educator known for using hands on lab experiments and activities to engage students in science and for launching a free school snack program for students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Molly Turner, teaches chemistry and physics at Leslie High School, which is part of the Leslie 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 Turner will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Turner said she was attracted to a career in education because “I grew up in a family of educators and have always had a great respect for the profession. I also truly enjoy watching young people grow and develop into successful adults.”
She said her favorite parts of being an educator are “watching students experience success in the science classroom and celebrating their accomplishments after graduation. My students and co-workers are amazing! They motivate me to do my best each day.”
A colleague nominated Turner for the Excellence in Education award, saying “her students love having her as their teacher.”
“She plans a variety of labs and activities to keep students engaged. Even though her teaching focus is on the science field, she cares about the school as a whole,” the nomination said. “Last year, she implemented a free snack program for students who need something to eat between classes and was able to get donations through the Weekday Snack Program.
“Molly also has been an active member of the teaching staff. She is the chair of the school improvement team and co-coordinator for the high school power play program.”
Turner earned three degrees from Michigan State University: a bachelor of science in biology, a bachelor of science in zoology, and a master of arts in educational technology. She has been an educator for 11 years, the past 10 with the Leslie Public 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.