KC Teacher Wins State Prize
Shannon Wintz Receives Excellence in Education Award
Shannon Wintz is a great English teacher who challenges her students.
But more than that, she is an adult who lets them know that she cares, according to a Kalamazoo Central mom who nominated Wintz for the Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery. The mom said Wintz uplifts her students and helped her son deal with depression.
“She has the keen ability to care, love, and yet challenge her students at the same time. She goes above and beyond in her classroom by making each student her top priority.”
Each weekly winner of the prize receives a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize and a $500 classroom grant. Wintz will use her grant to buy books for her classroom. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Western Michigan University and has been an educator for 15 years, the last nine at Kalamazoo Central. Over the years, she has taught repeat ninth-grade English, English 10, Honors 11th English, Literature through Films, and AP Language and Composition.
She said she tries to make her lessons relevant to their lives, and she attends their games and performances so they know how proud she is of their accomplishments.
“My room is stocked with good food, love, and laughter. My students know if they need me, I will be there,” she said. ‘Our students have so many abilities. They know more today than we ever knew at their age. Students want to be taken seriously and simply heard. Many adults tell students to get over things, but I sit and listen and help them work through it.”
Wintz said she is honored and humbled by the award, but she hopes her students know that she teaches not for herself but for them.
“My students are my reward everyday they walk in with a smile and a hug. My students are the light in this dark world. My focus is never on myself; it is solely for each beautiful student that walks in and out of my door. This is their moment to shine, not mine. I would not be here without them.”
Outstanding public school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation. Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on excellence, dedication, inspiration, leadership, and effectiveness.