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Nov. 14, 2018
Best-in-class Spartan educators inspire the next generation.

“Changing the world is sometimes big and grandiose … and other times, it’s one-on-one,” says Margo Glew, director of the College of Education’s Global Educators Cohort Program at Michigan State University. “Teachers are committed to social change in those quiet, one-on-one moments with students that can change a trajectory, light a fire, encourage others.”

Graduates of MSU’s top-ranked elementary and secondary graduate programs — ranked #1 in the nation for 24 consecutive years — are exceptionally well prepared to make a difference in the lives of their students.

MSU graduates

MSU expanded its reputation as a pioneer in teacher education when it launched its full-year internship in 1993. The Teacher Preparation Program became an academic model for peer institutions, and part of the first wave of programs to offer fifth-year internships.

While participating in a full-year internship, a Spartan teacher education student earns 12 graduate-level credits that can be applied to many MSU graduate programs. By the end of the program — including the full-year internship — a student will have gained more than 1,000 hours of valuable in-classroom experience.

As early as their freshman year, students also may choose to join the Urban Educators Cohort Program or the Global Educators Cohort Program. These optional programs help students build specialized skills for teaching in high-needs settings.

In the last 25 years, more than 13,500 Spartans have been certified as new teachers through MSU. These educators have gone on to work across the state, country and around the world. Each has created a distinctive career path and put their College of Education skills to work to help shape future generations and make a difference in their communities.

From donning costumes during history lessons to ensuring students have the technology they need to succeed, Spartan teachers are known for applying creative solutions to meet the needs of their students and to support their fellow educators. Meet a few of them here:

Head of the class
Ben Hartnell

Ben Hartnell
Job: High school history teacher
Location: Westerville, Ohio
B.A., 2000, history
(secondary education)

Ohio teacher Ben Hartnell is serious about helping students learn the facts about historical events — and have fun while doing it. He wears a costume almost every day, stages elaborate re-enactments and, in 2016, literally ran for president as a write-in candidate. The goal? To show students that everyone, not just the major political parties, can make an impact.

I try to show my students that everything is a very powerful story, and that their story in high school creates one big fabric that is the American story.
Elizabeth Gutowski

Elizabeth Gutowski
Job: First grade teacher
Location: Vienna, Virginia
B.A. 2012, elementary education;
M.A., 2016, teaching and curriculum

Elizabeth Gutowski has a goal of helping others develop personally and academically. She mentors new teachers, and provides support to others doing the same. She also uses research-backed techniques to help her students self-regulate, identify and manage their emotions. After learning coping mechanisms in the Insights into Infants’ Internal Worlds Lab at MSU, Gutowski implemented methods like having students take a break, do yoga or visit a “safe zone” in her classroom.

As a first-grade teacher, I see many students with a wide variety of emotions, big reactions to emotions and, sometimes, an inability to identify or manage them. I try to teach students how to notice their emotions and independently take action to manage tough ones.
Kevin Tobe

Kevin Tobe
Job: High school math teacher
Location: Haslett, Michigan
B.A., 1997, mathematics 
(secondary education); M.A., 2001, curriculum and teaching

Kevin Tobe is an educator, advisor, mentor and volunteer known for his dedication to inspiring students in math and in life. In leadership positions at his school and alma mater, and with state- and national-level recognition, Tobe’s teaching focuses on fostering student creativity, curiosity and confidence.

As a first-grade teacher, I see many students with a wide variety of emotions, big reactions to emotions and, sometimes, an inability to identify or manage them. I try to teach students how to notice their emotions and independently take action to manage tough ones.
Curtis Lewis

Curtis Lewis
Job: Executive director of curriculum, instruction and culture, Detroit 90/90
Location: Detroit, Michigan
B.A., 2000, elementary education; M.A., 2003, curriculum and teaching; Ph.D., 2011, curriculum, teaching and educational policy

Curtis Lewis always has been willing to build change from the ground up. In Detroit, he was the founding principal of a successful elementary school and now oversees teaching across the city’s largest nonprofit network of charter schools. Along the way, he’s built up a statewide network of educators focused on transforming learning experiences.

Your zip code shouldn’t determine the level of education you receive. I want to transform schools so that all students have equitable learning experiences. I want them to feel they have the resources, but also the mindset, the confidence, to improve society.
Rachelle Galang

Rachelle Galang
Job: Technology integration specialist
Location: Rochester Hills, Michigan
B.A., 2012, elementary education; M.A., 2015, educational technology

When it comes to technology that enhances the classroom experience, Rachelle Galang is an expert. An instructor in the Master’s in Educational Technology Program at MSU and a technology integration specialist in Michigan, Galang specializes in supporting educators with using technology in teaching and learning in K-12 settings.

Michigan State University helped shape me into the educator I am today. MSU has led me down a path allowing me to experience incredible places and people. That one-of-a-kind learning journey has left me with many stories to tell and many more to come. I bleed green and am proud to be a Spartan Educator. Class Notes ROBERT FLODEN: How Educators Can Be the Change

How Educators Can Be the Change

BERNARD CHARLES: Teach, Even When They Say Don't

Teach, Even When They Say 'Don't'

CASEY MCANDREW: Kindergarten Intern

Kindergarten Intern

MARGO GLEW: The World Is Our Classroom

The World Is Our Classroom

FROM THE EDITOR: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

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