LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A Lake Odessa high school teacher’s hard work did not go unnoticed by a fellow colleague.

Keith Kadwell has been teaching at Lakewood High School for 23 years, and he recently was awarded the Michigan Lottery’s Excellence in Education award.

The educator is known as “Kaddy” or “Special K” to those at the high school.

According to Kadwell’s nominator, he has an “infectious love of literature and language.”

During his time as the English Department Chair for Lakewood High, Keith has brought new ideas to the table to creatively challenge his students.

One project Kadwell created is called “The Ideal Bookshelf,” where students take literary works that have spoken to them throughout their lives and apply them to canvas.

The department chair also turned the typical English essay into an “epic art project,” with students creating papier-mache and “decoupage masterpieces.”

Kaddy even started a podcast called the Lakewood Stu, where students work together and hone in a variety of skills.

Special K’s nominator had a plethora of nice things to say about the teacher.

Keith is a gentle soul whose quiet strength, unassuming demeanor and understated—yet riotously funny—sense of humor disarms and endears. His students secretly love it when he geeks out on Shakespeare, and they know better than to get him started on misplaced modifiers, dangling participles and split infinitives. Rarely a week goes by when a former student doesn’t reach out to Keith to thank him for having a lasting impact on their life, ask to shadow his class as they pursue their own teaching degree, or just reconnect. His selflessness and steadfast belief in their endless possibilities that makes Keith an educator to celebrate.”

The innovative educator was awarded with a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to his classroom, school, or school district.

Kadwell is an alumnus of Grand Valley State University and has spent his entire education career at Lakewood High.