The Michigan Lottery established the
Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding
public-school educators across the state during the school year.
One outstanding educator will be selected
each week and will receive a $1,500 cash prize plus a $500 grant
to their classroom, school or school district. One of the weekly
award winners will be selected to receive the Lottery’s Educator
of the Year award and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
Each winner also will receive a plaque and
be 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, Saginaw.
The winner of the 2021 Educator of the
Year award was Janice Smith. She is a school social worker at
Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, which is part of the Detroit Public
Schools Community District.
More than 800 educators were nominated
during the seventh year of the educational awards program and
34, including Smith, were selected to win a weekly award.
Previous winners of the Educator of the
- • 2020 – Megan Sidge, an Autism
Spectrum Disorder teacher at Hickory Woods Elementary, which
is part of the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools.
- • 2019 – Stewart Kieliszewski, an
Earth science, biology, mechatronics, and media teacher for
eighth through 12 graders at the Ubly Community Schools.
- • 2018 – Kerri Moccio, a literacy
intervention specialist at Bedford Elementary School in
- • 2017 – Linda Holzwarth, a social
studies teacher at Portage West Middle School in Portage
- • 2016 – Daniel Carr, a Spanish and
sports marketing teacher at Waverly High School in Lansing
- • 2015 – Michael Craig, a special
education teacher at the Charles Drew Transition Center in
Excellence in Education award nominees are
evaluated on: Excellence, Dedication, Inspiration, Leadership