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

Ryan Barck holding $1,500 Excellence in Education checkA Macomb County educator known for engaging with his students and encouraging them to keep learning has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Ryan Barck, is a high school government teacher with L’Anse Creuse DiAnne M. Pellerin Center.

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 Barck will air this evening.

Barck says he knew he wanted to be an educator since his junior year of high school.

“I became a teacher because I would sit in my classroom in school and I grew bored because I wanted to learn more and wondered why things happened, not just what happened. Once I got to my junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue education. I knew that if I was telling the story and explaining to others how I learned and why something was important, it would stick. From that point, I wanted to be the best teacher I could, and my passion ever since has been to be both a teacher and a student. I am always learning and thinking of new ways to teach and how to teach with new resources.”

Barck says “flipping the script” is one of his favorite things to do with students.

“One of my favorite things to do with my students is to flip the script and let the students take control of the class. In my government class, we have a debate over controversial topics. I have the students research what is going to be talked about, and every year it amazes me how passionate and thorough some of them are when they argue their cases for or against something. It truly brings me joy that my students can realize their untapped potential.”

A family member nominated Barck for the award. The nomination cited his ability to engage with students and keep them interested in learning.

“Ryan is an amazing educator who reaches and engages with his students in a way that keeps them intrigued and wanting to learn more. He puts his heart in all he does for the school and his students, including starting the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club and his time as a middle school and high school football coach. He’s a true leader and teaching is his passion. Mr. Barck’s students always speak so highly of him because they not only learn from him about the subject, but about life and respect. He’s real with them and meets them on their level which forms a bond.”

Barck earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a Master’s Degree from Saginaw Valley State University. He has been an educator for 10 years, all in his 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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