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Past Winner Reflects on Lasting Impact of the EDEX Awards

Stacy Bogard

By Stacy Bogard, CAE, MASB Assistant Director of Communications, PR & Marketing

DashBoard, March 4, 2015

Emcee Lou Guizzetti, executive director for SET SEG School Insurance Specialists, paused slightly before awarding the final trophy at the Michigan’s Best Luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. The audience seized on the spirit of the event providing a drum roll using their hands and tabletops as he announced that Wayne RESA was the recipient of the MASB/SET SEG Education Excellence Program’s top honor, Best of the Best, for its Project PRIME program. Several representatives from the program were in attendance and jubilantly took to the stage to accept the trophy and a $1,000 bonus.

"The funds gave us the opportunity to purchase materials for teachers participating in our projects to enhance their classroom instruction," Wayne RESA’s Carolyn Siebers said.

While the Education Excellence Program format has changed in the last couple of years, the foundations on which the program was built 21 years ago still remain. It was created to recognize programs in Michigan’s local and intermediate public school districts that positively reflect the innovative spirit in today’s schools and measurably improve student achievement, as well as to create a knowledge bank of sorts, giving districts a way to learn about initiatives that could potentially work in their own schools.

Education Excellence Awards

Does Your District Have a Program Its Proud of?

If it has been in existence for at least two years, consider submitting it for consideration for an Education Excellence Award. Applications are being accepted through Friday, March 13, 2015. Learn more, and see information on other past winners, here.

Promoting Reform In Mathematics Education is definitely one of these programs. It is a statewide, two-year, secondary professional development program coordinated by Wayne RESA with the Michigan Mathematics and Science Center Network, Educational Service Agencies and the University of Dearborn’s Center for Mathematics Education.

The program’s structure is based on a mathematics professional development model with proven success in:

  • Deepening teachers’ mathematical content knowledge;
  • Improving classroom mathematics instruction; and
  • Increasing student mathematics performance.

Project PRIME has provided this mathematics professional development for 700 to 800 teachers per year through collaboration with the statewide organization, MMSCN. "Without the dedication, coordination and delivery of this professional development model by the satellite sites within the MMSCN, this project would not have had such large scale impact on mathematics teachers around the state," according to Libby Pizzo, Director of Wayne RESA's Mathematics and Science Center, one of the 33 centers in the MMSCN.

Five years after starting the program, Wayne RESA submitted it for consideration for an Education Excellence Award. “While the application is somewhat daunting, it was great to hear about being selected and the luncheon was an enjoyable event,” shared Siebers. “It was an exciting atmosphere with attendees having the opportunity to talk with all of the award recipients about their great projects and consider how they could implement the ideas in their own district.”

The impact of the award has resonated with Wayne RESA. After returning home from the awards luncheon, they presented the program at a board meeting, which led to a greater dissemination of and interest in the project. They have also proudly displayed the trophies and street sign as visual reminders of the program’s success.

Overall, the ISD is grateful for the opportunity to showcase a program they are very proud of. “It gave us the opportunity to reflect on the important and meaningful aspects of Project PRIME,” Siebers notes. “Participating in the Education Excellence Awards Program was very rewarding.”

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