New MiNE coordinators state-wide

The wing of MEA that supports newer educators, MiNE (Michigan New Educators), is expanding! Introducing our newest MiNE coordinators who develop local in-person events and connect members to MiNE state-wide happenings, including virtual book studies:

Tharan Suvarna is a second-year K-8 technology teacher at St. Ignace Area Schools. Tharan is a former Aspiring Educators of Michigan student leader and became involved as a MiNE leader because he wanted to help others negotiate the transition from college to the classroom.

Erinn Parker is a sixth-year teacher at Stephenson Area Public Schools. Originally from Muskegon, Erinn thinks it is important to not only attract potential educators to the profession but also provide support for young and veteran teachers alike.

Aimee Schwartz is a reading interventionist from Holly Area Schools. “I am excited to be involved with MEA and MINE because if we support and encourage our new teachers to succeed, our children will also succeed.”

Jared Lancaster is in his first year teaching at Kenowa Hills Public Schools. “MiNE matters to me because as early career educators, we deserve support and advocacy to help us be effective at our jobs and provide us the dignity and space to have a voice that is heard.”

Sygnett Swann teaches in Kalamazoo Public Schools and joined MiNE as a seven-year veteran: “I’m in the ‘sweet spot’ of still new and yet I have earned a spot at the table. I want to be part of the team that celebrates and engages with new teachers to offer them support.”

Allison O’Connell is a third-year fifth-grade teacher in Kent City Community Schools who wants to empower younger educators to problem solve together. “It is crucial to hear the voices of new teachers in an effort to retain the highly qualified educators our students deserve.”

Padric Bolen, a fourth-grade teacher at Hopkins Public Schools, believes MiNE can help newer educators build a strong foundation in a shifting landscape. “In our classroom we strive to build strong relationships with our students and we can’t forget that teachers need that too!”

Welcome to these new representatives joining our current MiNE coordinators, Skye Kapinus of Lansing, Anthony Barnes of Kalamazoo, Brittany Perreault of Farmington, and Kate Singer of Pontiac.




We are saddened to report the passing of Juwan Willis, whose exceptional contributions to his Oakland County CTE students and colleagues were featured in the December Voice magazine cover story. On behalf of the entire MEA, we send deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and students.