Troops Make Great Teachers: #proudMIeducator Video Highlights Program Assisting Veterans in Continuing their Service

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

November 8, 2019

LANSING – Acknowledging the service of United States armed forces veterans and introducing veterans to a path of continued service as public educators is the focus of the latest Proud Michigan Educator video from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

“Commanding a platoon is very similar to leading a classroom,” according to Edwardeen “Eddy” Jones, a retired teacher and recently retired U.S. Navy Captain who supports fellow veterans in continuing their commitment to service as educators. “You have to be organized, know your audience, and, above all else, be ready and willing to teach others.”

With 30 years of Naval service and nearly as many years in classrooms from Michigan to Hawaii, Jones has seen the powerful connection between military and educational service. In her current role as director of Michigan’s branch of the national Troops to Teachers program, Jones works every day to provide assistance to service members who are interested in teaching as a second career – helping active duty soldiers transition their leadership skills, training and core values to K-12 classrooms across the state.

“Some are called to military service, and some of us are called to become educators. We are extremely grateful for those who are called to both,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “Veterans bring unique skills and perspectives to our classrooms in leadership, experience, and adaptability. Thanks to programs such as Troops to Teachers, veterans are given the opportunity to continue their commitment to service, share their unique background and experiences and, ultimately, have a powerful impact on the lives of students across Michigan.” 

In honor of Veterans Day and to increase awareness about the tremendous impact thatmotivated, experienced, and dedicated veterans can make in the classroom, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is proud to release the latest #proudMIeducator videohighlighting the Troops to Teachers program, as well as Jones and several other Michigan veterans who are positively impacting education.

Recent data show that more than 1,600 veterans are serving as part of Michigan’s educator workforce in both teaching and non-teaching assignments in K-12 schools across the state, according to the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI). The Troops to Teachers program aims to increase this number in an effort to continue to positively affect students, schools and communities, and to help address significant teacher shortages. 

The #proudMIeducator initiative is part of a greater effort by MDE to recognize and celebrate the state’s education workforce. Anyone can participate in the social media-driven campaign designed to shine a spotlight on those making a difference for students in schools and districts across the state – simply tag posts using the #proudMIeducator hashtag. To stay connected, be sure to like/follow both the MDE and the Office of Educator Excellence on social media:

Facebook: @MIEducator and @MichDeptEd

Twitter: @MIEducator and @MIEducation

Instagram: @MIEducator

YouTube: @MichDeptEd

For more information about the #proudMIeducator campaign, including previous videos in the series, visit michigan.gov/proudMIeducator or e-mail Josh Roesner at roesnerj1@michigan.gov. Learn more about the Troops to Teachers program, by visiting proudtoserveagain.com or e-mailing Eddy Jones at jonese9@michigan.gov.