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

Janine Scott holding $1,500 Excellence in Education checkA Wayne County educator known for providing her students with the tools they need to be successful has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Janine Scott, is a high school math teacher at Davis Aerospace Technical High School. The school is part of Detroit Public Schools Community 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 Scott will air this evening.

Scott says an undying passion for teaching led her to a career in education after a successful career as an engineer.

“I always wanted to be a teacher, but in high school I decided to change gears and go to school to become an engineer. As the years went on, that passion for education never faded and after a challenging personal situation, I dedicated myself to become a teacher.”

Scott says she is passionate about making sure each student is committed to doing their best in her class and makes sure they have the tools needed to succeed.

“I let students know that as long as they get better in my class, they cannot fail. That looks like consistent effort, paying attention, asking questions, and trying their best at all times. We use technology to look up definitions and formulas, we use music to understand patterns, we use art to visualize math and to create beautiful vision statements, and now I will even use some social media to create videos. We also use online books, but we still have hardcover books for those students who prefer them, and laptops for math and calculator tools.”

Scott was nominated by a colleague. The nomination cited her commitment to her students in the classroom and beyond.

“Ms. Scott ensures that all students have what they need to be successful in her class and beyond. This could be from ensuring that students are kept warm by giving them a coat, to soliciting her friends to make yearly donations to former students for books and other college expenses, to teaching mathematics in a way that all students will understand. She might have students act out the shifts of a graph using body motion or have students make a TikTok to better understand the equations of graphs. This allows students to feel a sense of ownership with the material and boosts their confidence along the way. I often tell Ms. Scott that after being in her class, her students believe they can fly. She continuously supports and encourages her students so that they believe they can do any mathematics that she puts in front of them. She develops their confidence, and they are willing to take risks because they know that her classroom is a safe place where even if they are wrong, they will not be ridiculed. Her classroom is a place where risks to further education are welcomed.”

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Wayne State University. She has been an educator for 19 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.
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