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

A Newaygo County educator known as a champion for her craft, and setting a standard early on to help families foster good habits for life has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Jamie Sanborn, is a kindergarten teacher at Pathfinder Elementary. The school is part of Fremont 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 Sanborn will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Sanborn said that a love of learning and her passion for taking care of children attracted to a career in education. “I came to this profession later in life, but I have always been a learner and enjoy sharing my passion for learning and having an impact on children at a young age.”

She said her favorite part of being an educator is “the joy and excitement children bring to school every day and fostering new learning and encouraging each student to grow as an individual.”

Sanborn said connecting with students and colleagues motivates her to do her best each day. “Finding new ways to connect with my students and growing and learning with colleagues make each day special. Watching a student have a ‘lightbulb’ moment is so rewarding for me as a teacher.”

A parent nominated her for the Excellence in Education award. The nomination cited her involvement in many aspects of school life outside of the classroom and her dedication to improving the student experience.

“Jamie is also involved in many aspects of school life outside of the classroom, attending a plethora of meetings outside of her workday and dedicating her time to improving the student experience,” the nomination said. “She remembers students’ names after just one introduction and makes sure to greet kids she sees in public every time; even while she is busy walking in local parades!”

Sanborn earned a bachelor’s degree in English and elementary education from Grand Valley State University. She has been an educator for eight years, all with Fremont 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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