An Allegan County educator known for her positive and encouraging attitude has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Morgan Warner, is a seventh and eighth grade math teacher at Martin Middle/High School. The school is part of Martin Public 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 Warner will air this evening.
Warner said her desire to impact the future led her to a career in education.
“I have always wanted to impact the future. I feel that the best way for me to do that is to mold the minds of the youth. Something I say or teach to a student may be something they say or teach to their future kids. You don’t get that influence anywhere else!”
Warner’s favorite activity to do with students is “student of the day”.
“There are so many activities I love doing with my students – wall hunts, the target game, info-gaps, card sorting, etc. One of my favorite routines we do is ‘student of the day’. Each day a question is posted, and a randomly selected student gets to answer. If they get it right, they get to sit on my classroom couch.”
A coworker nominated her for the award. The nomination cited her leadership within the school and her positive and encouraging attitude.
“Ms. Warner demonstrates excellence by consistently helping students push to the next level in math and in life. No matter what level they are at currently, she is meeting them where they are and pushing them forward with encouraging words, understanding, and kindness. She has a ‘you can do it’ attitude. She consistently goes above and beyond by meeting with students before class, on her lunch hour, and online to help them understand their schoolwork. She regularly exceeds expectations serving in several areas outside of class. She helps to engage students with summer running club and has been inspirational in her ability to build meaningful relationships with students outside of school.
“She is also a leader in the school and spearheads many projects and initiatives. She directs the school drama programs and coaches track in the spring. She wears many hats in our small district and it shows what a versatile educator she is. Her effectiveness has clear and positive results daily. She is very approachable, and her positive attitude radiates in the halls between classes, in meetings, and with each student she interacts with. It is not uncommon to find her helping students with life skills outside of the standard curriculum so that they can be successful. She wants them to be successful way beyond graduation and it shows!”
Warner earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Central Michigan University. She has been an educator for 5 years, all 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.