Community and Leadership

After 18 years as an educator, Michigan’s newest Teacher of the Year is guided by a big-picture view of her role encompassed in three priorities. “We’ve got to keep the big things big,” said Laura Chang, a second grade teacher at Sunset Lake Elementary School in Vicksburg, who assumed the state’s top teacher mantle in…

Help From Friends

For Hillsdale schools bus driver Sid Halley, this is a story of one kid and a whole lot of friends. When one of Halley’s driver colleagues noticed a student in need of new clothing last fall, word went out to the community. The response was so huge that a project was born. The student took…

A Custodian and ‘Pillar’

When Steve Croschere heard that some attention-challenged students at Bothwell Middle School in Marquette needed standing desks to help them learn, he quietly set about making some. The school had been turned down for grant money to buy the expensive pieces of furniture, so the head custodian dug through old student desks cast off in…

Kindergarten Stop

Many news stories have been written about how much money teachers spend out of pocket each year on classroom supplies. But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. After 32 years as an educator—almost all as a kindergarten teacher in Chippewa Valley—Carolann Jimison retired last month. First she had to clear out her room,…

For Young and Old

Virginia Fitch has a big family, but the elderly resident of an assisted living facility added two “great grandchildren” to her photo shelf this year—thanks to an inspired teacher’s class project. Fitch and 12 other seniors who live in Countryside Manor in Jackson were partnered with “buddies” from the second-grade class of teacher Jennifer Zeller.…

Whitmer Education Plan: Get it Done

The education plan outlined by Gretchen Whitmer, Get It Done: Better Schools Now for Michigan Students, is built around four themes. To view the full plan, visit gretchenwhitmer.com/education. Quality education from cradle to career Phase in universal preschool for four-year-olds Triple the number of literacy coaches in schools Add more psychologists, social workers, nurses, security, healthy…