by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Sharing a little light on a rather rainy evening, Corunna Public Schools hosted an event to honor two special employees in the Elsa Meyer Elementary gymnasium on Monday, Sept. 28. Kim Phillips, a paraprofessional, was honored as the 2019-20 Corunna Public Schools Employee of the Year. Art teacher Robyn Lentz was honored as the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year.
Both employees received a number of gifts in recognition of their achievement, including honorary proclamations from the city of Corunna, the state of Michigan and the school district – signed respectively by Corunna Mayor Chuck Kerridge, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, Sen. Tom Barrett and Rep. Ben Frederick. Corunna School Board President Jennifer Strauch and Superintendent John Fattal’s signatures were featured on the school district certificate.
Phillips, who graduated from Corunna in 1994, returned to the district as a teacher’s aide in 2001, eventually becoming a paraprofessional and serving at Elsa Meyer and Nellie Reed Elementary Schools. A number of peers, parents and students have expressed their appreciation for her dedication in the work place.
Phillips has been married for 26 years and has one son.
During the award ceremony, Phillips was described as someone who “goes above and beyond her daily requirements” in helping others achieve success. She was quietly humble in accepting the award, thanking everyone for the honor and support.
Lentz graduated from Michigan State University in 1992, working in education in Edwardsburg and Byron, prior to joining the Corunna Public Schools staff. She has now been a teacher with Corunna for 19 years, teaching elementary and middle school art. Lentz was also involved in starting the Corunna Middle School Drama Club and has co-directed middle and high school drama productions.
Lentz was described during the ceremony as “genuinely” believing that all people have various, unique and special talents, and one of her talents is in helping others recognize it about themselves.
Lentz spoke at the podium, thanking everyone for the honor – having a cast on her leg due to a recent accident trying to corner some chickens at home. Lentz is married and has three children.