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

Coleen EignerA Bay County educator known for always putting her students first has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Coleen Eigner, is a high school English teach at Pinconning Area High School. The school is part of the Pinconning Area 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 Eigner will air this evening.

Eigner said she was drawn to a career in education because it combined her desire to work with young people and her love of English literature.

“I was initially attracted to a career in education because it combined my desire to work with young people and my love for English literature. My students’ passion and enthusiasm are the driving force for being a teacher this long.”

Eigner’s favorite activities to do with students are reading and discussing literature.

“My favorite activities are reading and discussing literature with students. We also love playing games like Kahoot and Quizlet Live.”

A co-worker nominated Eigner for the award. The nomination cited how her work goes above and beyond the classroom and how she always puts her students first.

“I had the honor of working with Coleen for 22 years. Throughout those years, I watched her put students first. She has always gone above and beyond the classroom. She has sponsored many groups, such as SAE, which allowed our small-town students to travel around the country and to Europe. She did fundraisers and opened her wallet to give kids experiences that enriched their lives. She has always kept food for kids who were hungry and bought coats, boots, hats, and gloves to keep kids warm. She comes in early and stays late, and she has picked up students for school and driven them home so that those who couldn’t participate could now be a part of the school. Her classroom is alive with activities. She is an amazing person and teacher!”

Eigner earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and master’s degree from Wayne State University. She has been an educator for 30 years, the last 24 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.
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