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Tag Archive | "Michigan Lottery"

Excellence in Education Award Winner Teacher Brett Burns


csps-excellence-and-education-brett-burn

Thanksgiving week, the Michigan Lottery recognized outstanding Cedar Springs Middle School teacher, Brett Burns, who is making a significant impact in the lives of Michigan students. Selected educators will receive: $500 cash prize and $500 grant to the educator’s classroom, school or school district.

In addition, all Excellence in Education award winners will be automatically considered for the Michigan Lottery’s Educator of the Year Award and a grand prize of $10,000. The award looks for Michigan public school employees who represent the very best of the Michigan public school system. Congratulations, Mr. Burns! We are proud that you are a Cedar Springs RED HAWK Teacher!!!

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Cedar Springs teacher wins Excellence in Education Award


Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Brett Burns poses for a photo with (left to right) Cedar Springs Middle School principal Sue Spahr, his daughter Cylie, wife Heather, and daughter Cassidy, after accepting his Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

A Kent County educator known for his dedication to helping students improve their math skills and for using technology and current events to help them grasp concepts and increase their understanding has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Brett Burns, teaches mathematics at Cedar Springs Middle School, part of the Cedar Springs Public Schools district. He also serves as the basketball coach for the eighth grade teams.

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 $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, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segment featuring Burns aired Tuesday evening in Grand Rapids and Lansing and will air Thursday in Detroit.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

Brett Burns talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting his Excellence in Education award.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo, who recently presented Burns with the award at the Breslin Center.

Burns said he was attracted to a career in education because “it gives me the opportunity to make a difference every day. When I first started teaching math, I had a lot to learn about how to educate middle school students. I have grown and perfected my craft, but I’ve never stopped learning. Every year, I have to change with the new group of students that enters my classroom.

“As I look back, I remember how I used to assign 20 to 30 math problems as homework each night that didn’t require much thinking from students about the how and the why of solving the problems. Now my assignments are much shorter, but incorporate deep thinking and exploration,” he said. “Math is one of the most difficult subjects for middle school students, so my goal every year is to change their mindset about math. By the end of the year, I want them to see that they can do math and can be successful. That’s not an easy job, but I love the challenge and look forward to it each and every year.

“I am willing to grow and change and learn who my students are as people first, before I ever teach them a math lesson. I make that a priority and my mission is to earn their trust and show them that I care about them as people. This creates a mutual respect between myself and my students and helps me to be more effective as a teacher. The students know that I truly care about them.”

A colleague nominated Burns for the Excellence in Education award, saying: “High energy, integrity, collaboration, leadership and high relationship are just a few words that describe Brett Burns.

“Every day, he arrives at school at about 4:30 a.m. and works diligently to review student work and prepare quality lessons. Setting aside this time allows him maximum efficiency, so when students arrive, he is totally focused on them. Mr. Burns can be seen fist bumping, joking, complimenting, and welcoming the students each day. The students form a huddle around him, smiles all-around.

“Mr. Burns has dedicated many hours to improving math achievement at Cedar Springs Middle School. He has collaborated with a vertical team of sixth grade through 12th grade teachers to align instruction with the Common Core standards and the latest research on thinking mathematically. He also works to incorporate technology and current events into instruction to deepen engagement and conceptual understanding,” the nomination said.

“Mr. Burns breaks his groups down in collaborative teams, working in small groups with them to question, prompt, and cue them, not give them answers and direction with their struggles. Frequent emails to parents keep them informed of student opportunities to improve their mastery of the standards.

“Outside of the classroom, Mr. Burns pours his energy into coaching basketball for the eighth grade students. He continues to inspire and build relationships with students, encouraging them to break through barriers in their thinking that stop them from exceeding their own goals.

“His dedication to the students, staff, parents, colleagues, and community inspires everyone to be selfless in their work.”

Burns earned a bachelor of arts degree from Sienna Heights College and has been an educator for nearly 20 years, all with the Cedar Springs Public 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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Montcalm educator wins excellence in education award


Kathy Maguire poses for a photo with Baldwin Heights principal, Mike Walsh, and her mother, Elizabeth Fraser, after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Kathy Maguire poses for a photo with Baldwin Heights principal, Mike Walsh, and her mother, Elizabeth Fraser, after accepting her Excellence in Education award from Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Kathy Maguire talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

Kathy Maguire talks with Michigan State University basketball coach, Tom Izzo, after accepting her Excellence in Education award.

A Montcalm County educator known for her commitment to encourage students to read and explore new books and for devoting her own time to help teachers and students has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The award winner, Kathy Maguire, is a media center specialist at Baldwin Heights Elementary School in Greenville. The school is part of the Greenville Public Schools district.

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education award program in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year. 

Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $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, and FOX 47 in Lansing. The news segments featuring Maguire aired last week.

For the Excellence in Education awards program, the Lottery has teamed up with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo. Izzo met recently with Maguire at the Breslin Center and presented her with the award.

Maguire said her favorite part of being an educator is “helping teachers and students find the resources they need to excel. It’s also seeing the joy on students’ faces when they find just the right book and it clicks with them and changes their lives.”

Maguire said she was attracted to a career in education because of her father, Morley Fraser, who was a football and baseball coach and teacher at Albion College. “He instilled the love of education in all six kids in our family. In fact, the whole family entered the education field.”

She said she’s motivated to do her best each day because “my father taught me to help ‘win the game’ in every job, so I go the extra mile to help the teachers win the game in their classrooms and to win the game with students so they know they are valued and respected and that I’ll help them in any way that I can.”

The Excellence in Education award nomination for Maguire described her as “the most upbeat person on our staff” and who “always goes beyond anything that is expected.”

Our media center is a welcoming, friendly place to be thanks to her caring, diligence and the love of the staff and kids. It’s not unusual for students to stop in the media center after school just to talk to her. Taking time for students never stops for Kathy,” the nomination said, adding that “volunteers are a common sight in our media center because she is so accepting and appreciative of anyone who might want to help.”

Maguire has been an educator for 15 years, the last 11 with the Greenville Public Schools.  She attended Alma College and the Moody Bible Institute.

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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