Dexter Kindergarten Teacher Wins Big!


The Dexter Community School District is pleased to announce that Beacon Elementary kindergarten teacher Brook Gillum has been honored with the Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.

The Excellence in Education awards were established in 2014 to recognize outstanding public school educators across Michigan. Criteria for the award include excellence, dedication, inspiration, effectiveness, and leadership. Weekly honorees receive a plaque, a $1500 cash prize, and a $500 grant for their classroom. One of the weekly winners will be selected as Educator of the Year and receive a $10,000 cash prize. Each weekly winner is also featured in an evening news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations. The interview with Mrs. Gillum will air in Grand Rapids (FOX 47) and Lansing (FOX 17) on Tuesday, December 15th, and on Detroit’s WXYZ Channel 7 and WNEM-TV (Saginaw) on Thursday, December 17.

Gillum was nominated by the family of former students, who cited the commitment and love she shows for each student. They said, “Since kindergarten can be very difficult, [Mrs. Gillum] offers her students a special feeling of security and is very patient and kind to each and every one. She helps build their confidence and gives so much to all of the students in her classroom.”

Gillum says she fell in love with early childhood education when she took a part-time job in at a preschool at age 18. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and elementary education from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University. She has been an educator for eleven years, the last five at Beacon Elementary. Asked to describe her favorite part of being an educator, Gillum said, “Kindergartners are full of life and excitement for learning and I feed off their energy,” said Gillum. “2020 has been challenging but being with the kindergartners each day has helped me see things through a new perspective and find happiness during the hard times. I look forward to seeing them every day.”

Beacon Principal Ryan Bruder shared the following: “Popping into Mrs. Brook Gillum's classroom, it is not uncommon to hear from her a silly voice, a fun song, a playful laugh, or a heartfelt, ‘I love you.’ Mrs. Gillum radiates positivity, warmth, and kindness. One might think that being a Home-Based (100% virtual) instructor this year would change the feeling of her classroom, but I can assure you, it is just as fun, loving, and silly as ever! In education, relationships are the foundation of a successful teacher and a successful classroom. Mrs. Gillum's greatest strength is her ability to build relationships with students. Mrs. Gillum has dedicated herself to becoming an exceptional educator. Mrs. Gillum solicits and applies feedback and learning from students, colleagues, families, and administrators. We are extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Gillum as part of the Beacon and Dexter Community!”

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