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April 8, 2019

MSU teacher candidates visit Midland

MSU St. Andrews hosted 31 future teachers from the MSU College of Education on March 22 in hopes of encouraging the students to consider the Midland area as an area to work and live after completing their teaching degrees.

The group’s first stop was Central Auditorium where they were greeted by Midland Public Schools administrators. Michael Sharrow, superintendent of Midland Public Schools, and Brian Brutyn, assistant superintendent, explained the district’s mission, goals and finances, in addition to the programming and opportunities available.

Students also heard from Michael Fair, an MSU alumnus and former marching band member, and first year teacher at Midland Public Schools. He confirmed for the group what a welcoming place Midland is and how advanced the schools are. His advice to the group?

“No matter where you decide to work and live, make sure it feels like a good fit and then get connected to a hobby or activity that you love doing,” he stated. In addition to teaching, he also helps coach the drumline at the high school.

Grant Murschel, director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Midland, provided an overview of the area, and shared the many opportunities for connecting with other young professionals through the vibrant arts, entertainment and outdoor activities available.

After the presentations, the group moved on to tour Central Park Elementary, a STEM exploration school, and then to Herbert Henry Dow High School, where they were greeted by Steve Pool, principal of Dow High School. Poole guided the tour including a stop in the bustling gymnasium where the First Robotics regional competition was being held.

Michelle Confer, a teaching student on the trip stated, “One thing in particular that stood out to me was the opportunity for students to build a robot by the time they leave 5th grade. Acquiring coding skills not only expands students' knowledge but prepares them for the future. There is truly something for everyone in Midland schools. Midland is definitely on my radar for future employment as a teacher.”

The group then boarded their charter bus for the final stop at MSU St. Andrews. There they were treated to lunch and additional presentations from Bay City Public Schools, Bullock Creek Schools and St. Brigid Catholic School. Representatives gave overviews of their respective districts and then met with students in small groups, allowing more one-on-one discussion and sharing of resumes.

“This event offers MSU teacher candidates a unique opportunity to learn about a number of districts in the area that have expressed interest in creating a pipeline of teachers from MSU,” commented Andrea Kelly, pre-internship coordinator from the College of Education.

“The interactions with district personnel give the teacher candidates a chance to sharpen their interviewing skills and provides a direct line to people who may later be a part of hiring them for their first teaching job.”

Programming at MSU St. Andrews is generously supported through local philanthropic organizations including The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.

MSU St. Andrews hosts a combination of extramurally supported research; science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education programs for students and families; plus associated professional development opportunities for teachers in the greater Midland region. It also offers a lending library of equipment for schools, students and robotics teams wishing to augment their activities.