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

Timothy NewmanA Gratiot County educator known for his ability to bring out the best in his students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Timothy Newman, is a sixth through 12 grade Band teacher at Alma High School. The school is part of the Alma Public 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 Newman will air this evening.

Newman said his desire to help students become the best versions of themselves is what led him to a career in education.

“I wanted to help students become the best versions of themselves. I wanted to help create supportive communities for students and help young people experience the joy of music making.”

Newman said his favorite activity to do with students is the marching band camp every summer.

“The high school does a marching band camp every summer, which is my favorite yearly experience. I also enjoy taking the band students to various festivals, as the festivals give them a goal to work towards and the opportunity to receive outside feedback and see students from other schools perform.”

The parent of two former students nominated Newman for the award. The nomination cited the connection he has with his students and his ability to bring out the best in each of his students.

“Both of my children had the experience of working with Mr. Newman during each of their four years in high school. He is always looking for ways to engage his band students in enriching activities to bring them into the full realm of music participation. The hours he commits to his band students and the various programs he runs is admirable. I had the privilege of volunteering in various capacities over the years. During these times, I couldn’t help but notice and admire Mr. Newman’s handle on the subject matter he is teaching and his way of working and connecting with his students and their parents.

“Most of all, he is admired and respected by students and parents alike for his devotion to the Alma High School band program, as well as his commitment to each and every student who participates in band. The icing on top is his band’s consistently high-performance ratings at their competitions and MSBOA events. The scores alone attest to Mr. Newman’s ability to bring out the very best in each of his students. He has touched the lives of so many in such a profound way.”

Newman earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and master’s degree from VanderCook College of Music. He has been an educator for 18 years, all with Alma High School.

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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