ENGADINE, Mich. (WLUC) - A Mackinac County educator, known for helping her students learn to succeed in life and the classroom through perseverance and building on their individual strengths and talents, has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The Michigan Lottery announced the award in a Tuesday morning press release.
The award winner, Lila King, is a fourth grade teacher for the Engadine Consolidated Schools in Mackinac County. She also founded and chairs the local Parent-Teacher Organization and serves on several school committees in the Upper Peninsula 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.
King said her love of children led her to a career in education. "I always wanted to work with kids and once I chose education as my career, I knew I made the right decision. My students become my family and we create a bond that sees us through the year."
"I want learning to be fun and strive to do that every day," she said, adding that her students motivate her to do her best each day.
"I live in a community where everyone knows everyone. I work hard to build a partnership with parents, students, and the community so we can provide the best educational experience for all students in the district. Building a foundation of trust and respect is the key to creating the best experience," King said.
"Every day before I leave for work, I remind myself that my students and school are amazing and I promise to make it the best day possible. I am truly motivated when my students learn something new and have fun in the process.
"I want nothing but the best for them and work to make them see the value in themselves. I couldn't imagine doing anything else."
The Excellence in Education award nomination for King said she has been teaching for more than 20 years and "she continues to demonstrate the same passion for teaching every single day! Her love of teaching is evident in her lessons."
"She strives to empower her students to succeed and persevere through the challenges she provides daily. She makes her students feel important and she finds unique ways to honor their individual strengths," the nomination said, adding that King also tutors student after hours.
"She handles discipline with ease and mentors new teachers with confidence. Whenever she is present at school events or community activities, her students treat her like a rock star. That shows how much she is respected.
"I have seen her spend her own money on shoes or supplies for students who can't afford them. She will give whatever time she has to making her school the best it can be!
The nomination noted that King has received "many letters from former students who thank her for never giving up on them and teaching them to see their individual worth."
King earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University. She has been an educator for 24 years, the past 17 with the Engadine Consolidated 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.