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24 Teachers Selected For New Teacher Leadership Advisory Council

July 21, 2017

LANSING – Twenty-four teachers have been selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants to serve on a new panel to help guide the state’s plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.

The two dozen teachers, from K-12 public schools across the state, will serve on the newly-created Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC), developed with a $10,000 grant from the national Council of Chief State School Officers.

“Their collective talents and experience will be an asset to the council as we collaborate on the state’s plan to implement Michigan’s ESSA plan and work to become a Top 10 educations state within 10 years,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. “Based on the leadership these educators have demonstrated in our schools and communities, we know that Michigan’s students are in great hands.”

ESSA is the new federal law that replaced the previous No Child Left Behind Act. Every state is to develop a plan that it will use to improve educational outcomes for children and hold schools accountable and transparent for that success.

The MTLAC members and their school districts are:

Chris Woods


Gina Pepin


Jane Porath

Traverse City

Nikky Willison


Kymberli Wregglesworth


Katie Lee


Heather Gauck

Grand Rapids

Amber Kasic


Andrew Neumann


John Barnes


Michael Whalen


Aimee Torok

Grand Blanc

Jeff Croley


Kevin Tobe


Robyne Muray


Laura Chang


Jonathan Starkey


Gina Wilson

Early College Alliance, Eastern Michigan University

Rez Kayto

Ann Arbor

Becky Godin


Beth Gonzales

Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency

Matthew Homrich-Knieling

Cesar Chavez Public School Academy

Ciera Searcy

Detroit Public Schools Community District

Jasmine Bates

Van Buren


The new MTLAC members were selected from a pool of more than 310 applicants from 10 Prosperity Regions across the state, following an application process open to all Michigan teachers. A competitive preference was given to those with experience or interest in teacher leadership positions.

The members will attend the panel’s only mandatory, in-person meeting, Aug. 9 in Bath. Otherwise, they mostly will participate in online meetings, where they can provide feedback on the state’s ESSA and Top 10 in 10 plans.

Council activities will be held outside of school hours. Members receive a $500 honorarium for the 2017-18 school year.

Members also will serve as ambassadors of the #proudMIeducator campaign (

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) currently is reviewing Michigan’s ESSA plan, submitted to USED on April 17.

To read Michigan’s ESSA Plan, and an Overview of the plan, go to