A Genesee County educator known for encouraging her student to be learners for life has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Kelly Sanborn, is a middle school science teacher with Kuehn-Haven Middle School. The school is part of Montrose Community 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.
Sanborn said she was drawn to a career in education because of her love of learning.
“I have a love for learning, and I wanted to pass that love on to my students. I also wanted to make a difference in my students’ lives, by not only being the best teacher I could be for them, but by loving them and letting them know that I am going to be there for them not only academically, but emotionally.”
A colleague nominated Sanborn for the award. The nomination cited her dedication to students in and out of the classroom.
“Kelly Sanborn is the definition of a master teacher who embraces the concept of learning for life. She is a seasoned educator with almost 30 years of service, yet each summer she spends at conferences and workshops learning and working on her craft. Kelly has partnered with MSU for research projects, participated in countywide projects that bring real world projects to her students such as Health is in Your Hands and Project River Green where data contributes to real county projects of relevance.
“Kelly and her advisory students developed two outdoor learning spaces for our school community. The spaces include outdoor seating for a whole classroom, a national certified wildlife habitat, and a community garden available for residents every summer all connected through boardwalks within the wooded areas.
“Her impact goes beyond the classroom and stays beyond when a student graduates from school. Prior to coming to Montrose, Kelly worked in a Flint elementary school and we often have former students from Flint showing up to visit Kelly. Former Montrose graduates stay connected with her long after graduating. She is known to have lunch meetings with students and to stay after school with students to continue learning and to tutor students who need extra time or to help with personal issues.”
Sanborn earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan Flint and a master’s degree from Oakland University. She has been an educator for 32 years, the last 12 in her current position.
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.