General Discussion:
  • Attendance: Members=19, Associate/Honorary Members=2, Guests=8
  • Nick Horstman ran the meeting in Raj’s absence
  • Jim & Naomi Miller attended and are interested in becoming members
  • Guest speakers - Williamston School Administrators:

 
Adam Spina, Rob Watson, Mike Freeman, Michelle Cook (front), Kelly Campbell, Dr. Jeff Thoenes, Pat VanRemmen & Narda Murphy
  • Adam Spina - Williamston School Superintendent
    • Note: Foundation is having Annual Raffle - $50 per ticket
      • 1st Prize is $3000+, also 2nd & 3rd prizes
      • Drawing at end of February
      • See Adam or Narda for tickets
    • Washington Post Article:
      • Re-evaluating way they look at schools
      • Now looking at student growth
      • Post showed a data base of all school districts in US
        • Williamston schools in top 96%!
        • For every 5 years, we show 5.9% growth!
  • Dr Jeff Thoenes - Williamston HS Principal
    • 20th year as building administrator
      • 30 years in schools - Before that in Peace Corp
      • 8th year at Williamston
    • Working on a school beautification project
      • Decorating, painting, …
    • He passed out a Williamston HS Profile sheet
      • 650 students - grades 9-12
      • 43 Professional staff
      • 82% of teachers hold Master’s degrees
      • Graduation rate: 97.08%
      • More detail - too numerous to list here
  • Mike Freeman - Assistant HS Principal
    • 17 years at Williamston
      • 25th year in education
    • Grew up in Williamston
    • Works with intervention, safety & security at HS
      • Handles issues that come up
  • Rob Watson - Middle School Principal (6-8th grade)
    • In his first year as the MS principal
      • Spent 6 years at Bloomfield Schools
      • And 18 years in Northfield - 2 as a teacher - rest as Principal
    • Wanted to move and saw Williamston as a dream fit
      • Teachers work together
      • Small staff - professional teachers
    • Single HS in town with lots of resident participation
    • Lucky and thankful to be here
  • Kelly Campbell - Explorer Elementary Principal (3-5th Grade)
    • Started in Williamston in 1991 as a 5th grade teacher
    • Grew up in Hancock, MI in the UP
    • 17 years at grade school - then to Middle School
      • 3 years as Explorer MS Principal
    • Teachers have lots of experience and put children first
    • Teachers are life-long learners
      • Learning next generation science standards
      • Have STEAM program to teach math & sciences
      • Will be working to make the curriculum for the  next generation science standards
  • Pat VanRemmen - Principal of Discovery Elementary School (K-2nd Grade)
    • Went to MSU to study Sports Journalism - switched to Education
      • 5 years at Okemos schools
      • 10 years in East Lansing - Early Childhood Education
      • 15 years in Haslett as Elementary Teacher
    • Earned his Administration Certificate
    • Works on literacy progress
      • With first & second graders
    • We have great teachers
    • From an education family - wife teacher in East Lansing, daughter teacher too
  • Michelle Cook - Director of Curriculum and Specialized Study
    • She has 4 grown children - 3 daughters (in education) and a son (engineer)
    • Stay at home mom till all children in college
      • Then got her BS and MS in Special Education
      • Second MS in Autistic studies
      • Got her Doctorate last April
    • Oldest daughter is in Williamston schools
      • She has grand children at Discovery & Explorer schools
    • Doing a book study - with all the students using on-line resources
  • Q & A: (Dr Jeff)
    • At HS - work on STEAM, STEM and Science Education
      • Working with MSU in Physics & Chemistry
      • Goal to be leader in these aread
    • Library move?
      • Still waiting for CATL to decide
    • Robotics programs in schools
      • HS program is running well, but Dr. Jeff wants to start it earlier in MS
      • Like to see more girls in it - building a foundation in MS
    • Invent Team
      • One of only 7 schools in nation with US Patent on project
      • Mechanism to open a locker for handicapped person
    • Website
      • Adam has been working on for a year now
        • Looking good
      • See have new Pre-School Director
        • Bridget Osborn
        • Lining it up with Discovery school education
      • https://www.gowcs.net/