Pat Schwartz and Kelly Wilson honored with Outstanding Persons in Education (OPIE) awards for 2023

Two Char-Em ISD staff members are being honored with OPIE awards for their dedication to students and families. Congratulations to transporter Pat Schwartz and to Lakeview High School teacher Kelly Wilson! Schwartz has been a transporter for Char-Em ISD for 26 years, and Wilson has been a teacher at Lakeview High School since 2006. 

In announcing the winners at the March 20 Board of Education meeting, Char-Em ISD Teacher Consultant Erin Broughman noted, “In collaboration with the transporters’ co-presidents, Deb and Kelly, it is my honor on behalf of both education associations to honor Char-Em ISD’s outstanding persons. Our local MEA has been celebrating educational professionals by way of the OPIE tradition since the mid-1990s. Individuals are selected for this prestigious award through nominations by their colleagues. I am excited to share with you what makes these two award winners truly outstanding.”

Schwartz’s nomination included the following: “Dedicated, hardworking and professional are some of the characteristics of an excellent employee. Throw in compassionate, kind, patient, and dependable and you have just described Pat Schwartz. Pat’s commitment to safety is second to none. Devoting nearly 26 years of service and her kind, nurturing spirit has positively impacted the lives of her students and staff. Parents of her students have often mentioned how they don’t know what they’d do without Pat being there. She truly cares for her students as “her kids” and always makes an effort to make them feel important, heard and supported. Pat starts and ends each student’s day warmly with her bright smile and positivity. Colleges have described Pat as someone who will go above and beyond to make sure everyone feels included and important. CharEm is a better place because of Pat and deserving of this year’s OPIE Award.”


Wilson’s nomination included the following: “Kelly is a dynamic, creative and exceptional educator who I know truly “walks the walk” when it comes to answering the question: “What is in the best interest of the student?” It is clear that she has challenged and inspired her students across the board; including ways that are not always measured by grades or test scores.  If you are unfamiliar, “In The Know” has featured multiple examples of her efforts. Kelly is a fierce advocate for her students and sets high expectations for all of them. Her commitment to reaching and teaching “at-risk” youth while providing new and exciting paths for learning is a great example for all professional educators.”

Schwartz and Wilson will be recognized at a ceremony on May 11 at Petoskey Middle School. Contact Erin Broughman for ceremony information. 

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