An Ingham County educator known for always putting the wellbeing of her students first and making sure they have what they need to succeed has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Stephanie Livingston, is a high school interventionist. She teaches at Haslett High School, which is part of Haslett 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 Livingston will air this evening.
Livingston says her desire to help make the world a better place drew her to a career in education.
“Service to the greater good is an important value for me, so any career I chose had to include something I believed would help make a better world. What keeps me in the profession is the impact teachers have on the individual lives of their students. The relationships we build to support our students as they grow as thinkers and doers and the confidence we can instill so that they can create the lives they choose once they leave us make teaching rewarding.”
Livingston says allowing students to use their voices and share ideas are her favorite parts of being an educator.
“Any activity that allows students to use their voice and share their ideas is a favorite. When I was an English teacher, we held a poetry “coffee house” where students read their creations. Recently, as the interventionist I host a Student Forum twice a year where students from a variety of experiences talk about how to make our school a better place for learning and teaching. They come up with great ideas that we try to implement as a building.”
A colleague nominated Livingston for the award. The nomination cited her willingness to always put students’ needs first and commitment to district diversity.
“Stephanie does so incredibly much for the students in our school. From checking in on kids who are struggling, to helping them get eyeglasses, to making sure they have enough food to make it through the day, she does it all. Her first consideration is always to take care of kids, and I can’t even begin to estimate the number of students who have graduated because she was in their corner when they otherwise may have slipped through the cracks. She is also helping to head up the district diversity work to ensure that all kids can find joy in who they are when they are in our schools. A book wouldn’t be enough space to share all the good she has done for kids.”
Livingston earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and Wayne State University. She has been an educator for 24 years, including seven 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.