Valley Lutheran’s faculty is marked by caring and passionate professionals who take their role and their calling seriously – to support and grow students as they prepare for their varied futures. In order to remain equipped, Valley’s teachers often participate in various professional development opportunities.
“Our teachers are dedicated to providing their students with the very best instruction and the most current information so they seek out regular opportunities for their own professional growth. Furthermore, they are willing to share their exceptional knowledge and skills with other teachers by presenting at conferences and workshops!” remarked Academic Dean, Dr. Lisa Meyers.
VL Teachers learning over the past 6 months:
- Mr. Caleb Abraham and Mrs. Renee Brenner participated in Advanced Placement test grading in Calculus and Spanish Language, respectively. As a part of this ‘grading’ participating teachers are also a part of invaluable conversations about the skills and the understanding students need to have in these courses. Mr. Abraham reflected, “I gained so much knowledge that immediately equips me to provide the best preparation for my students throughout the year!”
- Mr. Ben Cooper returned for a third summer as a fellow with the Dow Corning Foundation program through Saginaw Valley State University. Collaborating with other area teachers, Mr. Cooper brainstormed additional ways to bolster positive student attitudes in STEM and found new resources in hydroponics and sustainability education.
- Mr. Kevin Streeter has started a Master of Arts in Educational Technology which will directly benefit our students and their preparation in technological skills.
- Mr. Barry Wittig participated in a 3-day seminar with the Little Rock Senior High School/National Park, the highlight of which was a presentation from Carlotta Walls LaNier, one of the Little Rock Nine. Excited to share with his students this year, Mr. Wittig said, “It added so much to our unit to share Carlotta’s presentation directly with the students – her message of how faith and community supported her during a very difficult time, and her challenge to people of different cultures and races to seek to understand each other.”
Additionally, the entire Valley faculty recently attended the Connections Conference, held November 22-23 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference was offered by the Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio Districts in partnership with the Lutheran Education Association and was attended by over 1,300 educators.
Not only do Valley teachers continue to grow in their areas of expertise, they also take opportunities to lead others. Five members of the Valley faculty presented sectionals at the Connections Conference.
- Mrs. Barb Doyle – Keeping Math Accessible in a Pandemic and Beyond
- Mr. Doug Guenther – Modern Genetics in a Biblical World
- Dr. Julian Petzold – School Safety Best Practices: The Research
- Mrs. Rebecca Sugden – Power Tools for Learning
- Miss Jeanette Weilnau – Building a Robust Student Travel Program
“I’m so blessed to work with the faculty at Valley,” remarked Mrs. Sugden. “We do a great job sharing ideas and encouraging each other to become better teachers. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share with others in our area some of the great things that we do here!”
One of the reasons Valley teachers might be excited about learning and leading opportunities is because they have a great mentor in Dr. Meyers. Dr. Meyers is always learning herself, and then is quick to share with those around her.
And it’s not only the Valley Lutheran faculty that benefit. Dr. Meyers leads yearly curriculum councils with area grade school teachers; this year English/Language Arts and Math teachers are meeting quarterly under Dr. Meyers’ leadership to share ideas and strategies and collaborate together. Additionally Dr. Meyers serves as a TEC21 Facilitator, providing leadership in educational technology to area teachers. (TEC21 is a national organization, providing face-to-face workshops to support Lutheran educators in effectively integrating technology in their classrooms.)
Dr. Meyers said, “It is quite a privilege to work with the amazing Lutheran educators we are blessed to have in the area. I am in awe of their deep love for students and their passion for sharing the love of Jesus. Through TEC21 and our curriculum workshops, I get the opportunity to see the quality, cohesive and Christ-centered educational program that is available for area students PreK-12th grade.”