In these exciting times of astonishing access to technology and information, the traditional model of education has changed. The days of lecturing and rote memorization are over. Today’s schools are dynamic, filled with experimentation and active learning. Throughout the region, educators are dreaming up innovative methods to reach students. Teachers are bringing their lessons to life with virtual reality, hands-on experiences, and tailor-made curriculum, opening the minds of their students and getting real results.
Regional economic development organization Southwest Michigan First founded the Catalyst Education Awards with the mission of making Southwest Michigan recognized globally for its success in preparing young people to thrive in education and employment. According to Ron Kitchens, the organization’s chief executive officer, “Everyone can point to a single life-changing moment in their past that set them on their current path. And for many, this occurred in a classroom. We would like to celebrate the fact that across the region, these moments happen in our schools every day.”
The 2017 Catalyst Education Awards, sponsored by the Michigan Lottery, recognize educational excellence by honoring one elite school, principal, and teacher for their diligent and creative work to elevate student achievement. By implementing best practices in their classrooms and schools, they pave the way for the next generation of thinkers, engineers, artists, and leaders. Take out your number two pencils and read on to take note of the extraordinary successes of our region’s exemplary educators.