MacGregor's Message 2/19/21 
Dear Families,

Last week was a week full of surprises. Last Wednesday, I had the honor of surprising our Teacher of the Year and Support Person of the Year with their awards. We received more than 80 nominations for the Teacher of the Year Award and 30 nominations for the Support Person of the Year Award. To see all of the outstanding teachers and support staff members nominated for this year's awards, please visit https://bit.ly/3tOCaKL.

This year's Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Jill Cain, Three Fires Elementary fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Cain received several nominations for the award, highlighting her willingness to go the extra mile to support all students. The nominations also noted that Mrs. Cain has been a leader in expanding the elementary level technology special to include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) concepts and created the first MakerSpace in the district. To read more about Mrs. Cain and the Teacher of the Year Award, please visit http://bit.ly/3bdUYL6.

Our Support Person of the Year is Mrs. Terri Vaughn, Innovation Academy building secretary. Several students and staff members nominated Mrs. Vaughn for the award. The nominations all mentioned how Mrs. Vaughn makes both students and staff feel welcome and cared for at Innovation Academy. Mrs. Vaughn is more than the building secretary at Innovation Academy, she is also a cheerleader for her students and never takes her eye off the end goal of getting each student to graduation. To read more about Mrs. Vaughn and the Support Person of the Year Award, please visit http://bit.ly/2NDClbj.

Below is a short video of the surprise presentations.

Last week's final surprise came on Thursday evening during the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner. During the virtual event, I was surprised, shocked, and incredibly humbled to be named the 2020 Howell Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. It seems odd to be sharing that I won an award, but I am doing so, not because I was honored, but because this honor belongs to the entire Howell Public Schools community. As last year's Citizen of the Year spoke and listed off several accomplishments attributed to me, I reflected on how each of those accomplishments came about because of the dedication of our incredible teachers, support staff, administrators, Board of Education, and community partners. The grit, determination, and tenacity of our school community are what have gotten us to where we are today. This award honors more than our work during this school year. It also celebrates the meaningful partnerships that have been developed to support our students, the innovative programs designed to support learning year-round, and the improvements to our instructional practices through our five-year curriculum review process and curriculum adoptions. This award is the sum of countless hours of work from every district employee, every volunteer in the district, and every community member that supports our mission. The theme for this year's Chamber Awards Dinner was Community Heros, and while in title, I am the Citizen of the Year, truly Howell Public Schools team members are the real community heroes.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, I am so thankful for the Livingston County Health Department (LCHD). Since March of last year, the LCHD has provided guidance and support to all of the county's school districts, and they continue to meet with the county superintendents weekly. The LCHD has made vaccinating school staff a priority. While their weekly doses of the vaccine are very limited, they have administered the first dose of the vaccine to more than half of the educators in the county who indicated they would like to receive it. In the LCHD's latest COVID-19 update, they note that the number of new cases of COVID-19, recent hospitalizations, and the test positivity rate in the county are all trending downwards and are near where they were in August. Since this report looks at the past two weeks, it also shows an increase in the number of individuals aged 10-20 years old who have tested positive for COVID-19. This increase corresponds to the rise in cases that several high schools in the county experienced following the long weekend we had in January. During our weekly meeting, the LCHD shared that the number of cases in that age range is now declining. However, this recent increase serves as an important reminder that we must continue to remain vigilant with our COVID-19 safety measures and in following best public health practices such as staying home when sick or with COVID-19 test results pending, avoiding large and indoor social gatherings, wearing a mask in public and practicing frequent hand washing.

Sincerely,
Erin J. MacGregor, Ed.S
Superintendent
Howell Public Schools
Posted by gouldt On Sat, Feb 20, 2021 at 8:29 AM  

 
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