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2020-2021 MTLAC Cohort
Surprise Announcement Videos
Due to distance learning and building closures, this year's RTOY announcements were unique. In lieu of a traditional assembly or staff meeting, MDE asked each RTOY's administrator to devise a surprise announcement and film it to share. Below are short videos of each of the 2020-2021 RTOYs learning about their exceptional honor.
Region 1: Tan-A Hoffman - JKL Bahweting Anishnabe School (Sault Ste. Marie)
Region 2: David Bunn - Houghton Lake Jr/Sr High (Houghton Lake Community School District)
Region 3: Shantel VanderGalien - Wyoming Jr High (Wyoming Public Schools)
Region 4: Barbara Huston - Arrowwood Elementary (Saginaw Township Community Schools)
Region 5: Erin Carlson - Sandusky Jr/Sr High (Sandusky Community Schools)
Region 6: Chelsee Schram - Laingsburg Elementary (Laingsburg Community Schools)
Region 7: Elizabeth Honeysett - Portage Central High School (Portage Public Schools)
Region 8: Sarah Soper - Northwest High School (Northwest Community Schools)
Region 9: Owen Bondono - Oak Park Freshman Institute (Oak Park Schools)
Region 10: Janine Scott - Davis Aerospace Technical High School (Detroit Public Schools Community District)
2020-21 MTLAC Members
Region 1: JKL Bahweting Anishnabe School
Tan-A Hoffman has been teaching for over 19 years in the Upper Peninsula as both an elementary Reading Recovery teacher and grade level educator. She sits on several school committees to increase opportunities in literacy and Native American education, including MTSS-A Literacy, School Improvement, and is the president of the Sault Area Schools Indian Education Parent Committee. She also enjoys working with teachers in the Eastern U.P. by providing professional development opportunities around literacy.
In 2018, Tan-A became a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in the area of Early and Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading-Language Arts and was soon elected to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She is the media chair for the Michigan NBCT Network and co-founder of the Bureau of Indian Education National Board Certified Teacher Network. With her passion for Native American education, Tan-A is involved with the Teach to Lead project, with the goal to increase the number of NBCTs education Native American students and empowering Native American communities.
Region 2: Houghton Lake Junior/Senior High School
David Bunn has taught numerous subjects in the life science and social studies fields for 19 years. He currently teaches biology and a S.T.E.M. program in which students are learning problem solving skills, engineering, coding, and CNC machinery. Throughout his career, David has participated in a multitude of diverse initiatives and organizations, including serving on the Building Leadership Team, working as a P.B.I.S. coach, and guiding staff development sessions on technology integration.
In addition to his teaching roles, David has presented at the state and local level to emphasize the importance of technological integration and to increase online learning opportunities for students across districts. In addition to curricular duties, David also coached both Junior Varsity and Varsity basketball from 2001-2010 and is currently volunteering as a travel league coach for fifth- and sixth-grade girls' basketball.
Region 3: Wyoming Junior High School
Shantel VanderGalien has spent her 16-year teaching career at Wyoming Public Schools, teaching English Language Arts in every grade at the secondary level. She is currently an 8th grade English teacher and Instructional Coach. Shantel has collaborated with colleagues and administrators to create curriculum and lead professional development sessions, specifically around her passions of culturally responsive teaching, equity, and literacy.
Additionally, she has served for 8 years on the School Improvement Team and this year took on the role of chair of the group. Shantel is currently in her second year as president of the Michigan Network of National Board Certified Teachers, working to increase the number of Board Certified Teachers in Michigan. For the past three years, she has worked with teachers from across West Michigan in a partnership with Leading Educators to increase equitable education for all students.
Region 4: Arrowwood Elementary School
Barbara Huston has been an elementary teacher for 24 years in both the Saginaw Public School District and Saginaw Township Community Schools. She was a founding staff member of Arthur Eddy Academy, a MicroSociety K-8 school. She also spent time as a Literacy and Numeracy Specialist working with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Her love of the classroom brought her back to 3rd grade where she is presently teaching. Barb has served many years on the School Improvement Team, has worked collaboratively with colleagues and administrators to write curriculum, and has served on many projects and initiatives; her proudest being KNOTS (Kids Need Opportunities To Socialize), a program to provide social interaction for students with special needs in the general education classroom.
Barb has served as an adjunct faculty member for Saginaw Valley State University, as well as Literacy Peer Coach for the Saginaw Intermediate School District. Throughout her career, she has trained nine student teachers and has opened her classroom to multiple college students completing their methodology work. Barb shares her passion for children's literature as a member of #BookPosse on Twitter.
Region 5: Sandusky Junior/Senior High School
Erin Carlson is a 15-year veteran educator, finishing her sixth year teaching at Sandusky Junior/Senior High School. She currently teaches 11th grade English, 7th and 8th grade STEM, 7th grade enrichment classes, and high school online reading courses. Erin is also a co-advisor of the National Honor Society and the Key Club, the sophomore class adviser, SAT Official Practice Student Ambassador Adviser, 5th Grade Battle of the Books Coach, School Improvement Team member, and a teacher mentor.
In addition, Erin has been recognized by the College Board as a Khan Academy Ambassador and has been invited to share her expertise on how she is using the platform to customize learning and maximize student success on both webinars and at national conferences. An active member of her community, Erin is also an Elk Township Library Board member, serves on the Sanilac County Community Foundation Steps for Success Advisory Board, and teaches high school cooking classes at the District Library. She was named the 2018 Sandusky Citizen of the Year and received a 2020 Michigan Lottery Excellence in Education Award for her efforts in the community. Erin also writes her own blog, "Working Mom Wonders."
Region 6: Lainsburg Elementary School
Chelsee Schram has been an elementary teacher for six years, and is in her first year teaching 2nd grade at Lainsburg Elementary following the past four years with Morrice Area Schools, where she taught 2nd grade and served as an instructional math coach. Data and continuous learning have defined Chelsee's young career as an educator. She has participated on the School and District Improvement teams, helped plan staff professional and been a part of the Child Study Team.
She also serves as a county math leader, working with a team of educators of implement high-quality mathematics instruction across the state. Emphasizing outdoor experiences and integrating subjects have helped her students both understand and appreciate the natural world. Chelsee also serves as an pedagogical expert for all educators to learn more about forestry and natural resources.
Region 7: Portage Central High School
Elizabeth Honeysett has been an art educator for 16 years. Liz believes all students should have access to quality materials and resources. She has written and received grants for a variety of items to bolster student success, including a kiln and advanced technology in the form of 3D printing. Liz is committed to helping others grow professionally as well. She has presented at multiple state art education conferences and at the national NAEA conference. She was also invited to be a guest lecturer at Michigan State University in 2018.
Liz is a trained Lincoln Center Aesthetic Educator and a certified mental health responder. She was a founding member of the Diversity Awareness and Leadership Team and is currently in the Centennial School Improvement Team. She has also served as the Link Crew advisor, forensics coach, and yearbook advisor. Liz is also the production manager for the Portage Central High School Theater Department, and is responsible for coordinating a variety of technical aspects for every production and manages over 40 students working behind the scenes.
Region 8: Northwest High School
Sarah Soper is an English teacher at Northwest High School in Jackson where she has taught for her entire 15-year career. Within her school community, Sarah is active as a Link Crew advisor, English department chair, and as a member of the School Improvement Team. Outside of her school, Sarah is largely involved in the Advanced Placement Community, including presenting at Advanced Placement Conferences and grading thousands of essays as an Advanced Placement reader. She also writes for the blogs AP Lit Help and #TeachLivingPoets.
Sarah has presented at multiple conferences, including co-presenting a #TeachLivingPoets session at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, and has taught English coursework at Baker College. Sarah has also attended Nerd Camp Michigan for many years and is passionate about choice reading and getting high school students to like reading again!
Region 9: Oak Park High School 9th Grade Learning Community
Michigan Teacher of the Year
Owen Bondono comes from a family of educators and joined the profession as his second career. A true grow-your-own story, Owen first worked for five years as paraprofessional, substitute teacher, summer school teacher and ELA testing coordinator while earning his teaching certificate. He's since spent five years leading a classroom at both the middle and high school level, and currently teaches 9th grade English Language Arts.
As the faculty advisor for his school's Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA), Owen works to advocate for all students and ensure that school is a safe, productive place for them. Owen has led training and organization within his building to improve climate and culture surrounding issues of equality and is a facilitator for LGBTQ Student Safe Spaces. He is also a member of the Anti-Racist Leadership Institute and Resource Coordination Team (MTSS). Owen has served on the Superintendent's Advisory Committee and the Activities Committee. Outside of school, he volunteers for the national literacy organization, for National Novel Writing Month as a Metro Detroit municipal liaison and has edited several locally produced plays.
Region 10: Davis Aerospace Technical High School
Janine Scott is a second career mathematics teacher at Davis Aerospace Technical High School in Detroit. She has been teaching in the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) for a total of 16 years. Prior to the classroom, Scott was an award-winning sales engineer for over 13 years. In addition to giving her all inside her math classroom,
Scott is also active in her district, as well as both professional and public service organizations. She was worked with the DPSCD textbook selection committee and helped the district to write help write the HS math curriculum guides. She has also taught a College of Education Technology at Wayne State University, and works as a consultant at Schoolcraft College to develop and present math workshops. She is currently the president of Chalkbeat's reader advisory board, sits on the national K-12 Education Committee for the Society of Automotive Engineers, serves as a National Honor Society advisor, and is a mentor teacher for the Davis Aerospace Robotics team.
Other MTLAC Cohorts