LANSING, Mich. – A Macomb County teacher received an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
Michelle Rossi, a kindergarten teacher at Ardmore Elementary in St. Clair Shores, is known for providing individualized instruction for her students.
“Throughout the day, Mrs. Rossi maintains a positive atmosphere that is conducive for learning by setting the tone for her students with a clear vision and objectives, while teaching a variety of subjects and life skills. Here she builds a foundation for lifelong learning by adjusting her teaching methods to reach students of all backgrounds and abilities,” Rossi's nomination said.
Rossi said many of her family members are teachers and teaching sounded fun.
“The light in the eyes of my students and their excitement when they make a connection or learn something new is what makes it worth it. My students tell me every day that they love me and how smart they think I am," Rossi said. "Knowing that your actions and decisions and your lessons impact little humans is an overwhelming responsibility and one that is such an honor. Knowing that the foundation I lay in kindergarten will help carry them through life is awesome."
The nomination for the Excellence in Education award described Rossi as “the perfect teacher” to help children adapt to school.
“Her gentle yet firm, fair, poised and highly articulate, and approachable personality allows her students to feel important, comfortable and welcomed in their new environment. She greets her students every day with a smile and uplifting greeting, so her students start their day out on a positive note and have a sense of belonging in the classroom.
“Mrs. Rossi also leads the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports program, a school-wide initiative focusing on building a strong community within Ardmore Elementary and establishing common expectations for student behavior that are clearly and explicitly taught and recognized in various ways, such as the student of the month," the nomination said.
Rossi earned a bachelor of science degree in child development from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts degree in teaching reading and language arts from Oakland University. She has been an educator for 15 years, all with the Lakeview Public Schools.
The award was established in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state during the school year. Winners are chosen weekly, and they 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.
Educators are chosen based on several factors:
- 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.