Michigan Education Association

MEA Excellence Awards honor outstanding teachers

Two educators use creativity and real world experience to reach students

Colleen Scott Keiser is an award-winning teacher in WebbervilleColleen Scott Keiser is an award-winning teacher in Webberville.

EAST LANSING, Mich., December 5, 2008—They may teach social studies and business education, but the lessons two outstanding teachers give to their students go far beyond the classroom.

The Michigan Education Association is honoring Colleen Scott Keiser and Wendy A. Schmitt with MEA Excellence Awards today for their dedication to providing exceptional educational opportunities for their students.

Colleen Scott Keiser teaches social studies at Webberville High School, with a heavy emphasis on getting students involved in the political process. It’s a mission that combines two passions. Before entering the education profession, Keiser worked on national and state political campaigns and as a precinct delegate. Today, she instills that passion in her students by organizing voter registration drives, taking her students to the polls and bringing in state and local elected officials as regular class visitors. Keiser also encourages her students to make a difference in their community, helping them to give back through successful clothing and toy drives for domestic abuse shelters and a literacy project for area children in need. Her colleagues say her leadership and enthusiasm inspire a love of learning in her students that continues after they leave her class.

Wendy A. Schmitt teachers in White LakeWendy A. Schmitt teaches in White Lake.

Wendy Schmitt uses real world adventures to bring marketing and history alive for her business education students at Lakeland High School in White Lake. She led her students on an ambitious project that produced two published books on the Pettibone Creek Hydroelectric Station, more commonly known as the Milford Powerhouse. Schmitt took the two classes involved in the project on field trips, provided opportunities for them to interview local historians, and guided them through the writing and marketing process for publication. Perhaps the most telling results of Schmidt’s efforts come from one of her students, who reflected afterward that, “After all the research and work that our class poured into this project, it seemed like it sparked interest in us. When a person cares about something, they pour their soul into doing it—we did that for this project.”

The Excellence Awards will be presented today at the MEA Instruction and Professional Development Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn.


Contact:  Kerry Birmingham, MEA Communications, 517-337-5508.

Updated: February 19, 2009 6:22 PM