A Huron County educator known for serving as teacher, counselor, principal, cook, and secretary in a one-room schoolhouse has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Amy Schweitzer, is a general education kindergarten through eighth grade teacher at the Verona Mills School. The school is part of the Huron Intermediate School District.
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 Schweitzer will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.
Schweitzer said she felt called to a career in education.
“I worked in a business setting for years, but after having my four children I felt a calling to education. It is something I had always considered doing.”
She said watching her students grow and making a difference are her favorite parts of being an educator.
“Watching my students grow and knowing that I made a difference in their lives is what motivates me. Helping my students find their potential is truly rewarding.”
A parent nominated Schweitzer for the award. The nomination cited the many hats she wears and her positive attitude.
“While many teachers teach one grade or one subject, Amy teaches in a rural, one room schoolhouse. She teaches grades kindergarten through eighth grade, all subjects. She also wears many other hats, such as the principal, the secretary, the counselor, the nurse, the cook, the sports coach, the leader of extracurricular activities such as Quiz Bowl and robotics and much, much more!
“Most importantly she does all this with a big smile. Her number one priority is the education of each and every student and getting them to put forth their best effort.
“During the recent COVID-19 shutdown, she delivered books and laptops to each of her students so they could keep up with their lessons. She stays late to help students who are struggling and always keeps the parents involved.”
Schweitzer earned a bachelor’s degree from Saginaw Valley State University. She has been an educator for 13 years, the last 11 with the Verona Mills School.
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.