SH Teacher Receives Educator Excellence Award

Mary Phillips Named Winner of Air Zoo's Educator Excellence Award
This is the image for the news article titled Mary Phillips Named Winner of Air Zoo's Educator Excellence Award

Mary Phillips is a talented and unique educator that goes above and beyond to bring education alive for her students. She currently serves as our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teacher at North Shore Elementary and we are proud to announce that she is one of this year’s Air Zoo Science Innovation Hall of Fame Educator Excellence Award recipients! This award highlights innovative teachers that inspire and foster a love of STEM in their classrooms and comes with a red carpet award ceremony on April 18th at the Air Zoo, a classroom feature video, and a $750 grant!
There is no doubt that Mary is truly passionate about her subject area and her students. Each lesson is infused with fun challenges that keep students engaged. She is known for designing “Escape Room” activities where students work through a puzzle by connecting clues and problem solving and has even created similar activities for family nights. She is a champion for her students, giving them opportunities to personalize projects and building their confidence as they further develop their skills. Last year, Mary, along with her students, were featured at the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Student Technology Showcase where they shared their “Jump into a Good Book” project which consists of scenes from student’s favorite books viewed through virtual reality goggles. Students told portions of the story by creating 3D scenes with interactive images and text that can be explored by the viewer. This experience put our district in front of lawmakers, business leaders, and the general public at the Capitol Building in Lansing! She is also instrumental in the planning and organizing of the district’s annual Hour of Code Event where the innovative STEM/coding skills in the classroom are demonstrated for families and community members.
Additionally, Mary goes outside her job duties to offer extended learning opportunities that make her students aware of the world around them and builds compassion and empathy. Earlier this school year, Mary worked collaboratively with Mr. Bundt’s fifth grade class to sew tiny koala gloves and bat wraps to send to Australia during the bushfires afflicting the country. Students learned new skills and were thrilled to help those in need! She has also been a Girls on the Run Coach for our students, inspiring confidence and wellness.
Mary is an ambassador of South Haven Public Schools and embodies every component of an excellent and inspiring educator. Please join us in congratulating her on this great honor!