The Houghton County educator, known for her compassion and commitment to making all of her students mature, regardless of their shortcomings, was honored with the Michigan Lottery Award for Outstanding Educational Excellence.
The award winner, Katie Kumpula, is a first-class teacher at Lake Linden-Hubbel Public Schools.
The Michigan Lottery established the EExcellence In Education Award in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across the state throughout the school year.
Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a cash prize of $ 1,500 and a $ 500 grant for their class, school or school district. One of the weekly winners will be chosen Teacher of the Year and will receive a cash prize of $ 10,000.
Each winner is also represented in the news segment on the lottery’s media partner channels: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. A news segment featuring Kumpula will air tonight.
Kumpula said she has been drawn to a career in education because of the challenges she presents and helps students unleash their full potential.
“I wanted to be a school social worker and decided to get a degree first. I love challenges, whether it’s improving grades, developing / changing a student’s thinking, or challenging my students to reach their full potential. ”
A colleague nominated Kumpula for the award. Kumpula’s work with some of the most difficult students in the district was noted in the nomination.
“Mrs. Katie Kumpula is an excellent first-class teacher who is deeply sympathetic and strives to ensure that all her students do well, regardless of their shortcomings. Katie exceeds the demands of a general education teacher to meet the needs of some of the most challenging students in the school district.” Although she can take tickets to sporting events, counsel students in difficult times and conduct exciting classroom activities, exactly what she has not seen impresses her the most.
“She has always cared for the outsider. Over the past year, I have observed how she organizes, implements, and documents some of the most rigorous behavioral and academic activities for a particular student with special needs. She organized behavioral team meetings, implemented numerous physical and behavioral interventions, talked to parents daily, and recorded more information than could be imagined in an effort to ensure that the student could maintain his or her education in the general education class as their parents wish. She is the property of our district and should be recognized as one of the most gifted, compassionate and caring teachers in the state. «
Kumpula received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Michigan. She has been an educator for 25 years, the last two in her current position.
Nominees for the “Outstanding in Education” award are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Excellence – Their work continually helps students and / or their schools or school districts move to higher levels of academic achievement.
- Dedication – They are constantly exceeding expectations to help students succeed.
- Inspiration – Their work inspires others to exceed expectations both academically and professionally.
- Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions in their school or school district.
- Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results in the educational advancement of students in the school or school district.