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

A Wayne County educator known for bringing joy, love, warmth, and positivity to school every day has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Janice Smith, is a school social worker at Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, which is part of the 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 Smith will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Smith said her love of children led her to a career in education.

“I love working with children,” said Smith. “I thought by working as a social worker, I would be more impactful in their lives by helping shape and mold children, while supporting their emotional needs.”

She said her favorite part of being an educator is building relationships with students and their families.

“Building relationships is so valuable to my role,” said Smith. “Working together and witnessing a student do something or understand a concept for the first time makes my heart smile.”

A colleague nominated Smith for the award. The nomination cited her dedication, kindness, and the extra effort Smith puts in.

“When she enters a room, or if she is near you, she brings excitement, positivity, warmth, joy, love, professionalism, respect, and genuine kindness. Dedication and giving are the least I can say about her. Ms. Smith provides resources to our parents daily. She restores dignity to families who come to the school in need of help by listening to them with concern and doing everything in her power to address their needs. She mentors and resolves conflicts with students. I’ve seen Ms. Smith go out of her way to care for our students- providing transportation, hygiene products, clothing, food, and other services. She works beyond her scheduled time because she knows there is a job that needs to be done. She sits on various committees to nurture the growth, academic excellence, and social development of our school and the families we serve. She is an example of someone who loves her work and it is very evident.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University. She has been an educator for nearly 30 years, all with the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Outstanding public-school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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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Michigan Lottery Offices Closed in Observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

In observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas, the Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing and all Lottery regional offices located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Livonia, Saginaw and Sterling Heights will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

All regularly scheduled drawings will take place on Thursday and Friday.

The bank claim centers that the Michigan Lottery has teamed up with may have office hours on Thursday and Friday, however, they will not be able to process claims, because the Lottery offices will be closed.

Lottery offices will reopen by appointment only on Dec. 28.

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Michigan Lottery Warns Public to Be Aware of Prize Scams

The Michigan Lottery is warning the public to be aware of scam artists telling people they’ve won a big lottery prize but need to pay a fee to collect it.

The Michigan Lottery processes all prize claims for free, and players must have a valid winning ticket to claim a prize. If you haven’t bought a Lottery ticket or played a Lottery game, there’s no way you could win a prize.

To check if a lottery prize, offer or promotion is legitimate, members of the public may contact the Lottery’s Public Relations Division at 844-887-6836, option 2, or via email at onlinehelp@michiganlottery.com.

The lottery prize scam surfaces from time to time and has been known to pop up around the holidays.

The scam works like this: A person gets a letter, email or phone call to inform them that they’ve won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee to collect the prize. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.

In some cases, after getting money from the victim, the scam artist comes back asking for more for unexpected processing costs or fees or uses some other excuse to try to get more money from the victim.

Unfortunately, the more money the victim supplies, the longer the scam will continue.

If you believe you have been the victim of such a scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

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

A Washtenaw County educator known for creating a safe environment for incoming kindergartners has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Brook Gillum, is a kindergarten teacher at Beacon Elementary, which is part of the Dexter Community 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 Gillum will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Gillum said a part-time job experience at a young age led her to a career in education.

“I got a part-time job at a preschool when I was 18,” said Gillum. “I instantly fell in love with early childhood education.”

She said her favorite part of being an educator is the joy her students bring her.

“Kindergartners are full of life and excitement for learning and I feed off their energy,” said Gillum. “2020 has been challenging but being with the kindergartners each day has helped me see things through a new perspective and find happiness during the hard times. I look forward to seeing them every day.”

Gillum was nominated for the award by a family member of two former students. The nomination cited the commitment and love she shows for each student.

“Since Kindergarten can be very difficult, she offers her students a special feeling of security and is very patient and kind to each and everyone. She helps build their confidence and gives so much to all of the students in her classroom.”

Gillum earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and elementary education from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University. She has been an educator for 11 years, the last five years at Beacon Elementary.

Outstanding public-school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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

A Livingston County educator known for building a trusting relationship with each of her students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Lindsay Feig, is a third-grade teacher at Natalie Kreeger Elementary, which is part of Fowlerville Community 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 Feig will air this evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing, and then on Thursday in Saginaw and Detroit.

Feig said she chose a career in education because she wanted to “impact the lives of children in a positive way.”

Feig was nominated for the award by a colleague. The nomination cited her ability to ensure all of her students’ needs are being met.

“Lindsay is always making sure the needs of her students are met mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally. She is one of the calmest, kindest, respectful, funniest, and genuine people I have ever met. Lindsay is an incredible teacher but a great colleague to work with, too. She is consistently lending her time to make sure others have what they need to be successful. She takes ownership in being a truly remarkable leader for our building by setting a prime example of what an all-around amazing educator looks. Lindsay is someone you can count on to make sure students become good people for our society.”

Feig earned a bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor University and a master’s degree from Marygrove College. She has been an educator for 20 years, 19 with Fowlerville Community Schools.

Outstanding public-school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.

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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