Students, faculty receive recognition

HOUGHTON – The Copper Country Association of School Boards presented 37 awards to outstanding individuals during its 14th annual ceremony Wednesday night. Ten individual school districts and the Copper Country Intermediate School District presented three awards each recognizing student leadership, outstanding education employee and school service.

The Michigan Association of School Board also presented three CCISD board members with awards including the President’s Award of Recognition, Data Specialty Certificate, Master Platinum Award and Award of Distinction.

Albert Koskela, president of the CCISD Board, received the President’s Award of Recognition from MASB. To receive the President’s Award of Recognition, Koskela had to complete 29 200-level courses with a minimum of 1,283 educational credit hours. Koskela was also recognized with the Data Specialty Certificate from MASB for having completed multiple courses concerning 5-12 education, board governance and data decision making.

Koskela was also the recipient of the Copper Country Education Leadership Award. Koskela has been a long- time member of the school board of the Lake Linden-Hubbell Public Schools and a board member of the CCISD. Gale Eilola, CCISD trustee, presented the award.

“I am proud to be giving Albert this award,” said Eilola after listing Koskela’s many contributions to area schools and the CCISD. “We are very sad to see him retire.”

Koskela humbly accepted the award, joking “1999 doesn’t seem that long ago, but at that time (we) decided we needed an association of school boards and we’ve been here ever since.”

Karen Johnson and Rob Roy of the CCISD were also recognized by the MASB. Johnson received a Master Platinum Award for completing 19 200-level classes and a minimum of 813 education credits. Roy received an Award of Distinction for completing four 200-level classes and a minimum of 208 education credits.

Student Leadership Awards were given to students from each district who excelled academically and in extracurricular activities. Each student was credited with participation in a long list of extracurricular activities, frequently including athletics, community service, student government, leadership roles in multiple clubs and an active role in the arts along with academic recognition through honor societies and class standings.

Karen Johnson, CCISD board member, joked “I don’t know how (the students) have time to be here tonight.”

Outstanding Education Employee Awards recognized those employees who had a long, notable history with the school district, initiated and completed a noteworthy project – or many projects as was often the case – and stimulated colleagues to adopt imaginative programs. The recipients of this award were involved in many different aspects of the school districts and all had many shining of examples of how their presence and initiative benefited the students at the schools and districts where they work.

The School Service Awards could be presented to anyone – student, teacher or organization. The award recognized teachers, teacher aides, coaches and directors who have a positive impact on the children they work with. The CCISD also recognized the Houghton Rotary for their CHOICES program, which helps teens make decisions that will lead to academic and personal success, and the Dictionary Program through which the Houghton Rotary provides 3rd grade students in different school districts with dictionaries to encourage reading. For a list of award recipients, visit