The award winner, Marsha Reid, is a special education teacher at Novi High School, which is part of Novi 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 Reid will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Reid said she initially didn’t plan to be an educator, but education found her.
“When I was younger, I never thought I would be a teacher. When I got to college, I was interested in research in a psychology and genetic way for understanding the brain and the dynamics of students with disabilities. At the time, the type of thing I wanted to do was not something that was offered as an undergraduate program so my advisor suggested I go into education and then apply for my masters and go into the science side of things.
I don’t think it was until I got into my student teaching that I realized that I could not imagine doing anything else. There was something about being with kids. The fact that I got to be in the classroom with kids, I could connect with them and they could connect with me, that sealed it for me.”
She said her favorite part of being an educator is being with her students, athletes, families, and her teaching community.
A colleague nominated Reid for the award. The nomination cited her ability to relate to all her students.
“With more than 27 years of teaching, she is quite simply the master of all crafts. She can relate to students of all ages and abilities in order to bridge learning, social and emotional gaps needed to be successful in the real world.
I am particularly impressed watching how Marsha relates to those students who may be harder to interact with: those who struggle with behavior. She has a true gift and passion for working with students with behavioral needs.
Marsha has been a tech guru for our high school Special Education department. She took it upon herself to learn how to reach students through the technology we had, and how to create technology that we needed. She made herself available to all the students and staff in the department as a resource in order to make sure everyone was/is on track for graduation.”
Reid earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Detroit and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. She has been an educator for 28 years, 26 in her current position.
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.