Novi teacher wins Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education award

Congratulations to this inspiring educator.

Novi teacher wins Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education award
Lee Bonner, winner of the Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education award. Photograph credit to the Michigan Lottery.

Lee Bonner, a dedicated history teacher at Novi High School, has been recognized for his outstanding work with students by the Michigan Lottery. Bonner received the Excellence in Education award, a program honoring exceptional public school educators across the state.

A calling to inspire

Bonner's passion for education stems from a desire to make a positive impact on young people's lives. He told the Michigan Lottery:

I have been blessed to have had several teachers who had a positive impact on my life, and my hope is to do the same for my students.

One of Bonner's greatest joys in teaching is building relationships with his students. He believes this connection allows him to tailor instruction to their individual needs and foster a welcoming learning environment where students feel comfortable participating.

Championing student success

A colleague nominated Bonner for the award. This colleague told the Michigan Lottery:

Lee works well with struggling students and because he teaches the kids that struggle, he rarely gets recognition for his accomplishments. Lee makes an enormous difference to the kids who need extra support. He frequently makes difficult calls to parents and guardians, he reaches out constantly to help those in need, and he works tirelessly to ensure that his students graduate, whether it be through credit recovery or Co-D classes, or through extra individualized help and instruction. There are, every year, an enormous number of kids that walk across the stage at commencement because of him. Without Lee, their lives would be much more difficult. He is a caring, dedicated, and invested advocate of those most in need of our help. He is indispensable to our student community and their futures!

A committed educator

Bonner holds degrees from Grand Valley State University and the University of Michigan Dearborn. He has dedicated his entire 23-year career in education to the Novi Community School District.

Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education award

Established in 2014, the Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education award recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence, dedication, inspiration, leadership, and effectiveness in their work. Weekly winners receive a $2,000 cash prize, and one outstanding educator is chosen annually for the Educator of the Year award with a $10,000 prize.

Supporting public schools

The Michigan Lottery plays a significant role in supporting public education. Nearly 97 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes back to the state, funding schools, prizes for players, and retailer commissions. In 2023, the Michigan Lottery provided over $1.3 billion to Michigan public schools, exceeding $1 billion for the fifth year in a row. Since 1972, the lottery has contributed $28 billion to support education in Michigan.


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