2017 Teacher of the Year Award finalists visit state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker on Wednesday welcomed Sydney Azzi of Kentwood to the state Capitol.

Azzi is a top-five finalist for the annual Michigan Association of Public School Academies’ Teacher of the Year Award and joined other finalists and legislators at a reception Wednesday afternoon.

“Being selected as a finalist for the Teacher of the Year Award is a well-earned milestone that celebrates the hard work our public school teachers put in on a daily basis,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “On behalf of the community of Kentwood, I want to thank Sydney for her commitment to students and wish her the best of luck as we move closer to the award ceremony.”

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photo is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com. Click “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Photo Caption: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, congratulates Sydney Azzi, a top-five finalist for the Michigan Association of Public School Academies’ Teacher of the Year Award. Azzi, a resident of Kentwood, is an advanced placement English Language and Composition teacher at Grand River Preparatory High School in Grand Rapids. All of the finalists for the Teacher of the Year and Administrator of the Year awards were recognized Wednesday during a ceremony at the state Capitol.

 

 

Candlelight vigil honors victims, families at state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker was joined by dozens of elected officials, law enforcement officers, advocates, friends and family members of victims and victims themselves Tuesday evening at the state Capitol to celebrate the 29th annual Michigan Crime Victims Vigil.

The event was hosted by the Crime Victim Foundation and takes place at the Capitol every April in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“I’ve had the privilege to meet some incredible people throughout my tenure as co-chair of the crime victim’s caucus and involvement with this event,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “The pain of losing a loved one never goes away, but occasions like this provide an opportunity to gather and reflect with those who share similar stories.

“Attending this vigil is always a very moving experience for everyone. This year in particular was poignant as we acknowledged and remembered the victims of the shooting in Kalamazoo last year,” she added.

Schuitmaker presented the Crime Victim Advocate of the Year award to Stella Chivikas, a victim advocate in the Kalamazoo County prosecutor’s office who worked with the shooting victims and their families.

Schuitmaker on Tuesday also introduced Senate Resolution 45, which recognizes and acknowledges the importance of crime victims’’ rights here in Michigan. SR 45 had a host of bipartisan co-sponsors and was unanimously adopted by the Senate.

“I am proud of the work our state has done to protect victims and their families and I was once again humbled to be able to participate in this event,” Schuitmaker said. “We can never forget the struggles victims face and we must all do our part to support them however we are able.”

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Editor’s Note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Schuitmaker’s website at www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Photo caption: Pictured from left to right: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, joins Kalamazoo County Victim Advocate Stella Chivikas, Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren and Attorney General Bill Schuette at the annual Crime Victim’s Rights candlelight vigil Tuesday evening.

 

 

Senate honors Michigan State Police for 100 years of service

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker was joined by Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, and the rest of their Senate colleagues on Wednesday as the Senate paid tribute to the Michigan State Police for reaching 100 years of service.

“I’d like to thank the men and women of the Michigan State Police for their commitment to our state and congratulate them on reaching this incredible milestone,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “Not only have they served our state and kept residents safe for 100 years, they’ve done so while maintaining the utmost respect and integrity.”

The senators welcomed Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police, to receive a special tribute recognizing the anniversary.

“I find a great deal of comfort in knowing our troopers are on the job,” Schuitmaker said. “Our state police are recognized across the nation for first class training and professionalism. These men and women truly represent what it means to be a law enforcement officer.”

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Editor’s note: A print-quality photograph of Schuitmaker at Wednesday’s ceremony is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Photo caption: Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, poses for a photo with state Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek and Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (center) during Wednesday’s ceremony honoring the agency’s 100th anniversary.