The Copper Country Association of School Boards holds an annual awards ceremony to recognize students, employees and community members from area schools who have made a significant meritorious impact on the educational system. All nominations must meet a specific set of criteria. (Click here to view criteria PDF Format.) Awards are also presented at the ceremony to local school boards and individual school board members who have reached milestones in the Michigan Association of School Boards’ Board Member Awards Program.

The following individuals from the CCISD were presented with awards for the 2016-17 school year at a dinner ceremony on April 19, 2017, at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn. Information is also provided concerning this year’s area-wide Copper Country Leadership Award recipient.

Outstanding Education Employee Award: Kate Larsen

Kate Larsen is a Master Teacher, and she is particularly skilled at teaching reading. She is currently the Teacher in the early elementary Mild Cognitive Impairments classroom operated by the CCISD and located at Barkell Elementary, and she has been a Special Education teacher for the CCISD for 7 years. Before coming to the ISD, Kate taught in the Special Education Resource Room at CLK, was a teacher at the Copper Country Christian School, and she taught in Alaska. To say that Kate has high expectations for her students, for herself, and all of the staff with whom she works is an understatement. She works tirelessly to organize her room, her directions and guidance for her parapros, her student’s individual schedules and other necessary supports, to ensure there is maximum time for learning. Kate Larsen’s students learn about how to be a student, how to do math, how to make friends, and they learn to read!

School Service Award: Kathy Flagstadt

Kathy Flagstadt, Counselor for Michigan Rehabilitation Services, works for another agency but has worked as an integral member of the CCISD Team. She is very good at communicating, and has worked closely with our students in providing extra services to prepare for employment through Michigan Rehab funding and coordination with other agencies. Her heart is truly with the students and all of her clients, doing all that she can to assist them to succeed in their future employment. Her services are goal directed, based on what the student or client wants, and she assists them on their journey through high school and further training until full employment. Kathy was instrumental in organizing a “Skilled Trades” day, in which over 600 students were able to get hands on experience with local trades people. It was exciting to see local students, alongside our local contractors, running heavy equipment, laying brick, welding and so much more.

Student Leadership Award: Karmyn Polakowski

Right from the beginning of the school year, our Health Careers teacher recognized that Karmyn was going to be one of the best students in her class. At the start of the year, Karmyn demonstrated all the qualities that we learn about in class regarding work ethic. She has always come to class prepared to work, begins work promptly, manages her time well and demonstrates positive leadership. Karmyn is always willing to volunteer in class for activities and is very active regarding class participation. She has good manners, is respectful, and is very mature and professional. Karmyn puts so much effort into her work in class and has been an exemplary student at her clinical rotations.
Karmyn aspires to be an Ophthalmologist. She will be attending Michigan Tech University in the fall. We know that she has such a bright future ahead of her and that she will do great things!

Photo of the award recipients
Pictured above: Robert Roy, CCISD Board Treasurer; Kate Larsen; Karmyn Polakowski; Kathy Flagstadt; Gale Eilola, CCISD Board Trustee; and Bob Tuomi, CCISD Board President.

Copper Country Education Leadership Award: Mark Massicotte

Mark Massicotte has been a strong advocate for connecting business and education in the area and is working to bring other business owners together to support Career and Technical Education throughout the region. He is a leader on the CTE Steering Committee that is working to create a plan to seek a CTE millage that will help support students throughout the CCISD.

Mark has been an active member of the Michigan Works! Workforce Development Board since 2009, and is currently the Workforce Development Board Chair for UPWARD Talent Council Michigan Works! He’s credited with helping to reorganize the Workforce Development Board and was instrumental in encouraging the forming of two new FIRST Robotics Teams at local schools. His business, L’Anse Manufacturing, has provided countless hours of in-kind support to the robotics teams. He also works with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and has received the Business Education Partnership Award at the 2016 UP Talent Summit. L’Anse Manufacturing was one of four UP businesses that received the Operation Action UP Award of Excellence for 2013, recognizing outstanding contributions to the economic well-being of the UP.

Mark and his staff have been instrumental in connecting local youth to careers in manufacturing. Starting in the 2014-15 school year, he supported beginning a Machine Tool program at L’Anse Area Schools that is open to students from other districts. Through numerous meetings and consultation with the CCISD, a plan was put in place to offer an Industrial Arts Machine Tool program that followed CTE standards. Mark and his staff worked with the instructor to determine what could be taught through the class and what could be taught at the local manufacturer. Mark then organized a local group of manufacturers who agreed to take second-year students into their facilities under CTE’s Less than Class Size program to teach the remaining standards. L’Anse Manufacturing is one of those manufacturers. The company’s doors are open for student and counselor field trips to encourage students to consider manufacturing careers. In addition to startup and technical assistance, Mark and his team continue to provide work-based learning opportunities to experience a machine shop in full operation. His tireless efforts are providing opportunities for students to see and experience various fields of study.

Photo of Mark Massicotte receiving his award
Pictured above: Mark Massicotte and Joan Bugni, CCASB Vice-President (L’Anse)

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