The award winner, Erich Beregszaszy, is a high school chemistry teacher at Troy Athens High School. The school is part of the Troy 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 Beregszaszy will air this evening.
Beregszaszy said the amazing teachers he had in school led him to a career in education.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher after second grade, and my amazing high school science teachers inspired me to teach science.”
Beregszaszy said his favorite activity to do with his students is science labs.
“I love the labs we do. Flame testing with my general chemistry students and soap making with my organic chemistry students are some of my favorites. I also the love our late evening Science Olympiad practices; working with some of the best and brightest in the school is amazing and we always have a lot of fun.”
Two former students nominated Beregszaszy for the award. The nominations cited his dedication to educating his students and his positive influence.
“When I think of Excellence in Education, there is no better person that comes to mind than Mr. Beregszaszy aka Mr. Bear. His dedication to educating students is unmatched and he always brings positivity to the classroom. During school hours, Mr. Bear is always energized and enthusiastic about learning, but it is what he does outside of school that truly makes him special. He coaches the school’s Science Olympiad team, attends sporting events year-round to socialize with students, and he is always planning something for his classes while he is at home. Even through the pandemic, he has safely found ways to create lab opportunities and demonstrations to explain the natural phenomena that we learn in his organic chemistry class.”
Another former student said, “Mr. Bear will forever be my favorite teacher. I first met him when he was my teacher for Chemistry sophomore year. We instantly clicked and he became my mentor and my friend. He not only is an amazing teacher, but also an amazing friend and coach. While he was my coach, I learned how to be a better partner for my teammates and a better leader. He has been such a positive influence on my life.”
Beregszaszy earned a bachelor’s degrees from the University of Michigan Dearborn and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. He has been an educator for eight years, all in his 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.