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Math and science experts selected to become teachers for Michigan's high-need secondary schools

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation name 2013 class of Michigan Teaching Fellows

July 15, 2013

Princeton, N.J. – The third class of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson (WKKF-WW) Michigan Teaching Fellows, announced today, will bring both cutting-edge preparation and real-world expertise in math and science to Michigan’s high-need urban and rural schools.

This year’s 51 WKKF-WW Michigan Teaching Fellows will each receive $30,000 to complete a specially designed master’s degree program based on a yearlong classroom experience. In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in Michigan’s high-need urban and rural secondary schools.

The 2013 class is Michigan’s third group of Fellows for this program, launched by the Kellogg Foundation in 2009 with $18 million in support and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton.

The program ultimately will provide more than 100,000 students with the level of instruction they need to contribute and thrive in Michigan’s rapidly changing economy and workforce. Numerous studies have demonstrated that students in high-need schools are significantly less likely to have access to such teachers, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

“The research is clear – the most important factor affecting the quality of a student’s education is the quality of the classroom teacher. Beyond that, effective educators can make a powerful and lasting impact on students in ways that can’t be measured by test scores and report cards,” said Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation.

Campuses working with the Fellows include Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. These universities partner with local school districts where Fellows learn to teach in real classrooms from the beginning of their master’s work, just as physicians learn in teaching hospitals. The ten partner districts for these clinical placements, up from nine last year, include Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Comstock, Detroit, Godfrey-Lee, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Wyoming and Ypsilanti.

“Michigan’s economic future will be driven by the STEM fields,” said Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. “Getting strong math and science teachers into Michigan’s high-need schools means both creating opportunities for the young people who most need them and building the state’s workforce. There’s no greater need in Michigan education today, and we think these Fellows will do a tremendous job in helping to meet that need. They are amazing people, and they will change tens of thousands of lives.”

This year's class of Wayne State University fellows includes:

• Megan Burns (Novi)
• Kirke Elsass (Detroit)
• Bailey Gamble (Detroit)
• Calvin Hall (Detroit)
• David Harris II (Mendota)
• Michelle Hier (Milford)
• Arzell Jones (Detroit)
• Sarah Murphy (Mt. Pleasant)
• Sarah Patterson (Wixom)
• Waqar Raza (Canton)
• Maya Smolcic (Troy)
• Amy Szczepanski (Sterling Heights)
• Cari Van Hoorelbeke (Harrison Twp.)
• Kendra Welling (Rochester)
• Jane Zegers (Lenox Township)

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. For more information, visit

About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey ( identifies and develops leaders and institutions to meet the nation’s critical challenges, working through education.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students.