A Cheboygan County educator known for introducing his students to new opportunities and challenges at school has been honored with an Excellence In Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jordan Paterson, is a middle school teacher at Inland Lakes Secondary. The school is part of the Inland Lakes Schools.
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 $2,000 cash prize. At the end of the school year, one of the weekly award winners will be selected to receive the Lottery’s Educator of the Year award and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, WNEM-TV in Saginaw, and WWTV-TV in Traverse City. The news segment featuring Paterson will air this evening.
Paterson says his experiences in middle school and high school led him to pursue a career in education.
“I absolutely hated middle school and absolutely loved high school. I know what it’s like to be bullied and hide in the bathroom, and I know what it’s like to never want to miss a day of school. I try to make sure my kids experience the great feeling of wanting to be at school and do everything I can to make sure students don’t experience the bad days that I experienced.”
Paterson says being a positive role model and doing the best for his students is what motivates him every day.
“We are in education because we truly want what’s best for kids. We might disagree what that looks like, and that’s okay. My goal is to provide a positive example for students and give them the space to have a dialogue with their teacher.”
Paterson was nominated by his wife, who cited a number of new programs spearheaded by Paterson.
“Since being hired at Inland Lakes in 2019, Jordan has helped bring countless new programs to our school and students: sixth-grade coding, Advisory/Homeroom curriculum, a middle school wide debate project, a weekly news show, end of quarter rewards for high achieving students, a middle school summer school program, staff wide professional development, and so much more. We are so lucky to have him as he focuses on bringing out the best in his students.”
Paterson earned a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University. He has been an educator for eight years, the last five in his current position.
Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:
- 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.