October 4, 2023–

Congratulations to Hartland High School art teacher Joshua Etheridge on winning an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery! In his short time at Hartland, he’s made a big impact with his students. In late spring of 2023, he brought an Art Showcase to HHS to display his students work for the public. He also mentored former student Breanna Zaborowski on a commissioned piece for the hARTland Art Walk. It is a set of “Eagle Wings” located at the Auxiliary Stadium at HMS. Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque and a $2,000 cash prize. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

While Mr. Etheridge has only been in Hartland for 3 years, he has been an educator for 21 years. He said it was his experience as a student that led him to be a teacher. “I was a non-traditional student, and struggled to fit in. In most cases, I had no one to talk to in school. I vowed that I would become a teacher that would not only be there for students academically, but personally as well. Personal connections make all the difference in the world when it comes to a students’ development.”

It was former student Zaborowski that nominated Etheridge for the award. The nomination cited his willingness to inspire and guide each student individually. “When high school began, I took various art classes like drawing, jewelry, and pottery the first three years navigating my way through the different mediums. It wasn’t until my last year that I met Mr. Etheridge who showed me I didn’t have to pilot the art world alone. I am so lucky to have an art teacher like Mr. Etheridge in my senior year. He continues to impress and inspire me, especially after battling cancer during Covid and coming back to teaching stronger than ever. He changed the way I look at my future and has given me hope that I can make it as a creative thinker. I wish he could join me on my collegiate art journey, but knowing him, he will just be one phone call away.”

The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence In Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public-school educators across the state during the school year.