Member Spotlight: Sheryl Kennedy

A longtime teacher, now principal of Geisler Middle School in Walled Lake, MEA-Retired member Sheryl Kennedy is among several Michigan educators stepping up to run for political office this year.  Where did you grow up? I grew up in Davison which is the district that I’m running for state representative in. When I grew up…

Battles and Strength

Fifth-grade teacher Ryan Oleson could relate when he heard about a student at his Niles school who felt self-conscious about losing his hair from chemotherapy treatments—hair loss that would reveal a surgical scar on the back of his head. So the MEA member let the boy shave his full head of hair in the hallway…

Something from Nothing

Future teachers from MEA college chapters around the state joined forces to help students at a rural elementary school in northwest Michigan turn ordinary bottle caps into a lovely sitting bench for their school campus this spring. Aspiring Educators of MEA led students at Baldwin Elementary School in collecting more than 260 pounds of plastic…

Good Advice

In our “Start of a Journey” series over the past year, you followed Zack Griffin and Brittney Norman through one year in the life of a new educator. Now listen as they share their advice for first-year teachers coming into the profession. Here’s a sampling of their observations: The “e-word” is a hot topic in…

Indoor to Outdoor

Aspiring educators from Michigan State University wanted to connect indoor and outdoor learning spaces with their annual Outreach to Teach service project, held this year at Willow Elementary School in Lansing. Members and officers of MSU’s Aspiring Educators of MEA (AEM) chapter painted a culinary classroom in bright colors and created a community garden and…

Art and Science

In 2011, a Stevenson High School student looking out of his physics classroom window saw potential in a dilapidated structure and started a club to rehabilitate the Livonia school’s long-neglected greenhouse. Although he graduated, the club continues. The 1965 structure has not been used on a daily basis for more than 20 years. The district…

History and Honor

For 30 years, Charlotte High School history teacher John Moran has organized an annual event connecting his students to Vietnam veterans willing to share their stories of war. The roundtable discussions started in 1989 as a way to give these vets the homecoming they deserved. “I felt they were treated badly when they came back,…

Laughter and Learning

Neal Cronkite says his first year as an educator was a “train wreck.” Fast forward 12 years, and the middle school science and math teacher from Holt this spring was named the winner of a national award considered the “Oscar” of teaching. “That first year, my management wasn’t great,” he said. “I was focused a…