LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — If you are a student, parent, teacher or staff member at North Aurelius Elementary, you may know special education teacher Allison Altenberger-Olson.

Altenberger-Olson was recently awarded the Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education award.

The Mason Public Schools educator was nominated by a colleague, who said Altenberger-Olson “exemplified every single quality that outlines excellence in education.”

Allison said coming from a long line of educators played a factor in her interest in teaching the next generation.

“I believe that education is the most important profession. Teachers have the ability to impact the future and make a difference in hundreds of lives throughout their careers,” Allison said. “I have the privilege to work with fantastic students, colleagues, and families.”

Creativity is one of Allison’s favorite parts of being a teacher, especially when it comes to designing instruction for her students.

“I like to offer hands-on learning opportunities and engaging activities in our daily instruction,” said Altenberger-Olson. “Seeing students work toward their personal goals and cheering them along motivates me to be the best I can be and show up for my students every day.”

Allison’s nominator said that the elementary school educator helps some of her students make “academic gains across multiple content areas.”

“She works incredibly hard to make every student feel loved and valued and her efforts always show,” said Allison’s nominator. “She is a truly special person and educator who brings so much value and expertise into her role every single day.”

Altenberger-Olson is a Michigan State University alum and has been working as an educator for nine years.

Allison’s award includes a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to her classroom, school or school district.

One weekly winner will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

Have an educator in mind you think has shown Excellence in Education? Click here.