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Elizabeth A. Billman Excellence in Teaching Award


CCCF awards Elizabeth A. Billman Excellence in Teaching Award to Brittany Bertrand.


The Cass County Community Foundation today announced Brittany Bertrand as the 2023 recipient of the “Elizabeth A. Billman Excellence in Teaching Award” during the end of school year awards at Lewis Cass Elementary School.Deanna Crispen, CCCF President & CEO and Molly Long, CCCF Vice Chairman made the announcement and commended Bertrand for her devotion to her students, colleagues, professional development, and community. Crispen said, “Elizabeth Billman was an educator, administrator, mentor and role model for young women and teachers.


When we thought about ways to honor her legacy, this award, to encourage teachers early in their careers, was the result and we know Liz would be proud we are continuing her legacy through the award.”Bertrand, who teaches third grade at Lewis Cass was nominated by her principal, who said of her, “Brittany encourages every student to put forth their very best effort and holds them accountable. She has created a space where her students are excited to learn and grow academically.”Bertrand team teaches and is responsible for third grade Science/Math/Social Studies, where her coworkers describe her as having a compassion for her students that touches your heart and yet challenges her students to solve problems independently. She is supportive while building their own self-confidence. She utilizes the 5 E’s strategy where students engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate. Outside of the class room, Brittany is active in the community, the director of Camp Intervention, a STEM summer camp, and 7th grade cheerleading coach.


The excellence in teaching award was established in 2021to honor the long legacy of Billman. Elizabeth had served faithfully on the Board of Directors of the Cass County Community Foundation for a period of 16 years, serving two terms as Chairman of the Board of Directors and was on the Board of Directors at the time of her passing. Mrs. Billman retired as principal at Thompson Elementary School, now known as Lewis Cass Elementary. She also taught in the Southeastern School Corporation, beginning her teaching career at Washington Township School. She was a member of the Lewis Cass Alumni Association where she received the Distinguished Service Award. Liz served in the Southeastern School Corporation for 38 years.Bertrand was selected for the award from a pool of nominees submitted by elementary building principals of grades K-6 from all county schools, who most exemplify Elizabeth’s commitment to the students under her care, as well as embodies her thirst for knowledge, learning, and commitment to community service.The award consists of a $500 stipend for the teacher and a commemorative plaque. A permanent plaque is on display at the CCCF Office to honor each year’s recipient.


For more information or if you have questions, please contact Deanna Crispen, President & CEO, Cass County Community Foundation Inc. 574-722-2200.

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