A teacher from Wexford County has been named winner of the Michigan Lottery’s weekly Excellence in Education award.
Alonna Liabenow, a reading support teacher with Manton Consolidated Schools, was announced as the winner Tuesday. The Michigan Lottery said she’s “known for sharing her large heart and sense of humor with her students.”
The Excellence in Education award program was established in 2014 to recognize public school educators who go above and beyond to help their students, schools and communities. Winners of the award receive a plaque, $1,500 cash and a $500 grant for their classroom, school or district. Each weekly winner is eligible to win the $10,000 cash prize Educator of the Year award.
“I have always loved working with kids, even when I was one myself,” Liabenow said. “I especially love to share my love of reading with my students. I want all students to gain the skills to read and find reading material they love!”
Liabenow told the Michigan Lottery that reading aloud with students is one of her favorite activities.
“Aside from helping a student find something they love to read, reading aloud with my kids is my favorite thing to do. Hearing the confidence they gain throughout the year is something special to be a part of.”
A friend nominated Liabenow for the award and said in the nomination materials: “Anyone who’s met Alonna will say the same thing, that she’s a wonderful person with a large heart and a great sense of humor. She works hard, shows up, and cares about the kids that she helps out on a daily basis. She’s open minded and listens without bias. She’s a joy to be around and brings love and enrichment for the children that she helps. She’s also constantly buying books for the children to read out of her own pocket just because she enjoys her job!”
Liabenow earned a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University. She has been an educator for seven years, including two in her current position.