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First Educators Selected for Innovative Educator Corps

November 30, 2018

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education is celebrating the first-round selection of educators to be part of the new, statewide Innovative Educator Corps (IEC). 

The Innovative Educator Corps (IEC), authorized under the Marshall Plan for Talent (Public Act 227 of 2018), is a new recognition program for Michigan teachers who employ an innovative educational program, methodology, or strategy to help prepare their students for future career success in high-demand fields.

“To continue building Michigan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years, we need to take innovative and effective teaching practices and share them with every teacher in the state,” Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. 

“Teachers play a key role in preparing Michigan’s students for successful futures and developing innovative ways to deliver instruction ignites a passion in students to learn and be innovative themselves,” Alles added.

IEC members will receive a $5,000 stipend as recognition for their innovative instruction, and also be provided an additional $5,000 to be used in partnership with an Intermediate School District to expand, replicate, and share innovative practices.  

Applicants were nominated by peers, students, parents, community members, and school district administrators. Educators were required to document pupil academic achievement and successful implementation of innovative instructional methodology in preparing pupils for 21st-century careers; and exemplify the passion, energy, and professionalism of the teaching profession.

Due to the overwhelming number of applications received, the Michigan Department of Education will continue reviewing applications and anticipates additional IEC members will be added in 2019. 

The first round IEC members are: 

  • Jeffrey Austin, Skyline Writing Center, Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Rebecca Shankster, 5thand 6thGrade STEM program, Durand Public Schools
  • Michael Craig, Vocational Horticulture Program for cognitively impaired students, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • William Renner, computer science and technology-driven classroom, Hastings Area Schools
  • Ann Swinehart, Engineering Design Process, Comstock Public Schools
  • Carrie Warning, Discover E (Engineering) Program, Genesee Intermediate School District
  • Michael Miller, Makerspaces for K-5 students, Otsego Public Schools

Each year, up to 100 educators who have implemented innovative learning practices and strategies in their classroom to help their students become career ready in high-demand fields will be named to the IEC. 

For more information on the Innovative Educator Corps, please visit the MDE Recognition Programs Page.