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2023-24 MTLAC Cohort

2023-24 MTLAC Cohort

2023-24 MTLAC Cohort

Gina Pepin Region 1

Gina Pepin

Region 1: Lemmer Elementary School, Escanaba Public Schools

Dr. Gina Pepin holds an Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership, MS in Reading & Literacy K-6, and a post-graduate certificate in Reading, Literacy, and Assessment. Dr. Pepin is currently an elementary reading intervention teacher at Lemmer Elementary School in Escanaba Michigan. She has been a part of Escanaba Area Public Schools since 2008 and has over 25 years of K-12 teaching. Dr. Pepin was the first 2018-2019 Region 1 Teacher of the Year and served on the Michigan Teacher Leadership Advisory Council (MTLAC) for 2 years. She continues to serve on many state and national level committees designing teacher leadership frameworks, improving curriculum & assessments, designing standards, competencies, and survey items for the preparation of teachers.

Brandi Clark

Brandi Clark

Region 2: Kalkaska Middle School, Kalkaska Public Schools

Brandi Clark is a graduate of Alma College and in her 14th year of teaching. For the past 7 years she has taught at Kalkaska Middle School where she was the middle school department chair and currently teaches 6th grade math and 7th grade honors math. She has experiences in a variety of schools including charter schools, boarding schools, alternative education programs, and public schools. She is currently working to create regional assessments for the CPM accelerated math curriculum. She prides herself on developing relationships with her students and credits a lot of her classroom management skills to her former students in a court appointed program for students fighting addictions.

Region 3 Nielsen

Stephanie Nielsen

Region 3: Shawmut Hills Academy, Grand Rapids Public Schools

Stephanie Nielsen is a Kindergarten teacher at Shawmut Hills Academy in Grand Rapids Public Schools. Stephanie is in her 16th year of teaching and 8th year at Shawmut Hills. She is a Lead Teacher, the chair of the Shawmut Hills Friendship Community Garden, general education representative for the Student Success Team, Instructional Leadership Team member, and a member of the Michigan Alliance of Environmental and Outdoor Education.

Bridgit Sova Region 4

Bridgit Sova

Region 4: H.H. Dow High School, Midland Public Schools

Bridgit Sova teaches High School Special Education for Midland Public Schools in Midland, Michigan.  She has been teaching for over thirty years. She currently teaches science and math at H. H. Dow High School in the Cognitively Impaired Program. Bridgit graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Majoring in Teacher of the Cognitively Impaired and a Minor in Mathematics. She then continued her studies at Saginaw Valley State University with her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a certificate in School Administration. Bridgit has three grown children and lives in Midland with her husband Joe.  

Jennifer Senkmajer: Region 5

Jennifer Senkmajer

Region 5: Yale Elementary, Yale Public Schools

Jennifer Senkmajer teaches for Yale Public Schools at Yale Elementary School, where she has been employed for five years. She teaches all subjects in her fourth-grade classroom. Mrs. Senkmajer also taught at the middle school level, where she taught 6th grade math, ELA, and math intervention. In her current position at Yale Elementary, Mrs. Senkmajer serves on the Academic Initiatives Committee and as a teacher-mentor. She is also involved in St. Clair County RESA’s Leadership Academy. Modeling life-long learning is important to her, and in the last several years she has learned to play an instrument in a community band and learned karate, becoming a black belt in the art. She has taught for the public schools for over 18 years, and in her consultant role of 15 years, she found great success in helping teachers meet the needs of their students.

Region 6 Nicole Minor

Nicole Minor

Region 6: Lansing Eastern High School, Lansing Public Schools

Nicole Minor is a secondary math teacher at Lansing Eastern High School in Lansing Public Schools. Nicole primarily teaches 9th, 11th, and 12th grades. Nicole is in her 13th year of teaching, her 11th at Lansing Eastern High School. She is the Math Team Leader, the Secondary Math Steering Committee Chair, a Lansing Schools Education Association Building Representative, a member of the Lansing School District Instructional Council, and the advisor for the Eastern High School Black Student Union.

Region 7 Jaime Hilaski

Jaime Hilaski

Region 7: Schoolcraft Junior-Senior High School, Schoolcraft Community Schools

Jaime Hilaski is a 6th-12th grade visual arts teacher at Schoolcraft Community Schools. This is Jaime’s 10th year teaching and has been with Schoolcraft the entirety of her teaching career. Jaime is the school’s art club advisor, yearbook advisor, as well as one of the leads on the student climate committee.

Region 8 Lori Richert

Lori Richert

Region 8: Childs Elementary, Lincoln Consolidated Schools

Lori Richert is a 2nd grade teacher at Childs Elementary in the Lincoln Consolidated School District. Lori has been teaching elementary school for 22 years. She has taught both 2nd and 3rd grades during her career. With a master’s degree as a reading specialist, Lori has a love for teaching literacy to young learners. Throughout her career, Lori has participated in the development of new teachers by serving as a mentor, as well as opening her classroom to student teachers from Eastern Michigan University. Lori has been an advisor for the Childs Elementary Student Council and CASEL Student Leadership. She has also served as a Girls on the Run coach and was the lead coach and coordinator of the Lincoln Elementary Cross Country program. Lori is also serving as her building representative for the Lincoln Education Association.

Region 9: Vanessa Robert

Vanessa Robert

Region 9: Canton Charter Academy

Vanessa Robert is a Kindergarten teacher at Canton Charter Academy in the Wayne County district. Vanessa is in her 13th year of teaching with it being her 5th year at Canton Charter. Vanessa serves as a lead for her kindergarten team, is a mentor for new teachers in her building, is actively learning in the Early Literacy Program, and will be a content leader for the 2023-24 academic year.

Region 10: Candice Jackson

Candice Jackson

Region 10 and Michigan Teacher of the Year:
Mann Learning Community, Detroit Public Schools Community District

Candice Jackson is a dedicated educator who began her teaching career in 2002 with the Detroit Public Schools Community District. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Elementary Education and a Master of Curriculum and Teaching. She also holds a certification in school administration. For the last six years, she has been a third-grade teacher and instructional coach at Mann Learning Community. The Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation voted her the 2022-23 Educator of the Year. She co-founded the student organization, Mann Girls Matter, helping female students find their voice. She is the chair of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Program, a collaboration with the Office of Family and Community Engagement which brings teacher groups into the community to bridge the gap between parents, students, and teachers. She also has the dual duty of being an instructional coach. She facilitates professional development programs at the building level as well as at the district level. She is a member of the teaching organization National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa (NSPDK), Michigan Education Association (MEA), National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM), and Michigan Association of Secondary Schools Principals (MASSP).