Kalamazoo Public Schools Honor Staff for Making a Difference in Education

Kalamazoo Public Schools Honor Staff for Making a Difference in Education | Future Education Magazine


Dozens of dedicated staff members from Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) were celebrated for their outstanding contributions to education at a ceremony held Tuesday evening at Western Michigan University. The event recognized 29 individuals who have gone above and beyond in their roles, earning them the prestigious Kalamazoo Promise “You Make a Difference Award.”

The award ceremony, which has become an annual tradition, highlights the exceptional efforts of Kalamazoo Public Schools teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and other staff members who have made significant impacts on the lives of students. Each honoree received a plaque commemorating their achievement, a token of appreciation for their unwavering dedication and hard work.

Recognizing Creative and Innovative Service

The recipients of the “You Make a Difference Award” were selected based on nominations from their peers, who identified colleagues they believed were truly making a difference in the lives of young people. The awards aim to acknowledge those who demonstrate creative and innovative services, fostering a positive and nurturing environment for students.

Kalamazoo Promise Pathway Coach Breyana Wilson addressed the attendees, highlighting the immeasurable impact these educators and staff members have on their students. “Each one of you has made an impact by igniting curiosity, fostering resilience, and instilling a love of learning in our youth,” Wilson said. “The impact of your work cannot be measured by metrics, but by the confidence, dreams, and aspirations that arise in each child.”

Among the awardees were teachers who have inspired academic excellence, bus drivers who ensure the safe and timely transport of students, custodians who maintain clean and welcoming school environments, and various other staff members whose roles are critical to the smooth operation of the schools.

Honoring those who go the extra mile 

The “You Make a Difference Award” not only celebrates the contributions of individual staff members but also serves as a reminder of the collective effort required to foster an enriching educational experience. By honoring those who go the extra mile, Kalamazoo Public Schools underscores the importance of every role within the education system.

One of the awardees, Sarah Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary, expressed her gratitude and dedication to her students. “It’s an honor to be recognized, but the true reward is seeing my students grow and succeed,” Johnson said. “Every day, I strive to create a classroom environment where they feel valued and empowered to reach their full potential.”

The ceremony was filled with heartfelt moments as colleagues celebrated each other’s achievements, sharing stories of perseverance, innovation, and the profound impact they’ve had on students’ lives. The sense of community and mutual respect was palpable, reflecting the strong bonds that exist within Kalamazoo Public Schools.

The evening concluded with a call to action from Superintendent Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri, who emphasized the ongoing need for commitment and passion in education. “As we honor these exceptional individuals, let us also remember that our work is far from over,” Raichoudhuri said. “We must continue to support each other and our students, striving for excellence in all that we do.”

The recognition of these 29 outstanding staff members serves as an inspiration to the entire Kalamazoo Public Schools community, reminding everyone that making a difference in education is a collective effort that requires creativity, innovation, and unwavering dedication.

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