Since 2014, the Michigan Lottery has handed out the Excellence In Education Award to a deserving Michigan educator each and every week.
The weekly winners receive a commemorative plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, a $500 grant for their school or district, and are featured in news segments from the lottery’s four media partner stations: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw.
The lottery also selects one of the weekly winners as the Educator of the Year. That honor comes with a $10,000 cash prize.
Through the Excellence In Education Award, the Michigan Lottery hands out $88,000 to deserving educators over the course of the year, and another $26,000 in grants to schools.
The latest winner
The most recent recipient of the Excellence In Education Award is Mark Eberhard.
Eberhard is a freshman biology teacher at St. Clair High School, but like most teachers, Eberhard’s contributions don’t end in the classroom.
Eberhard was nominated by a former principal at St. Clair High School, who described him as an outstanding teacher for more than three decades.
“Not only does he teach all classes from ninth grade biology to advanced placement biology, he excels in two other areas that have provided countless students the opportunity to blossom,” the former principal wrote.
“Those areas are student leadership and theatre. For the past 30 years, he has led a student government numbering more than 100 students each year to shape programs that impact every student at the school.”
The principal also credits Eberhard with reviving the theater program at St. Clair. His sponsor noted that the interest in theater and parent and community support resulted in the construction of a $7.2 million Fine Arts Building in 2002.
How to nominate an educator for the award
Do you know a Michigan educator like Mark Eberhard? Someone who goes above and beyond and is worthy of the Excellence In Education Award? Nominate teachers at this link.
The lottery evaluates Excellence in Education nominees 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.