2006 ParticipantsDarlene Lloyd is a teacher with the Detroit Public School System. She currently teaches 4th grade. She graduated from Wayne County, Oakland County and completed her undergraduate work at The University of Detroit. She received her Masters' of Arts in Teaching from Marygrove College. She loves to teach! She enjoys teaching writing conventions and poetry. In addition, Darlene enjoys reading and reads Jung and Ralph Waldo Emerson in her spare time when she is not teaching. She enjoys tennis, basketball, roller-skating and traveling. Her dream is to become a published author some day.
Brenda is a teacher with the Benjamin O. Davis Aerospace Technical High School in Detroit Public Schools. At this location, she teaches 9th and 12th Grade English Language Arts. Although she has only been there a year, she has been teaching a total of 7 years.As a published poet, she encourages students to engage in various creative writing projects. Other areas of interest include drama, Spanish, and television writing. She is looking forward to gaining more knowledge and insight into how to reach urban youth.
Bruce Tosolt is a sixth grade teacher at Schulze Elementary school. He is currently teaching science and language arts. He is currently working toward becoming a specialist in English as a second language. In his spare time he likes to watch movies and listen to music. His favorite movie is Fight Club and bands include The Beatles, Clash and Kings of Leon.
Elizabeth Johnson is a multi-age K-1 teacher at Burton International in the Corktown area of Detroit. She has been teaching for nine years, the last seven with DPS. She enjoys her job and wants to be the best teacher she can be. She is a reluctant computer user who can find her way around better than she thinks with the help of some laughs. Elizabeth loves music and the John Irving novel "A Prayer for Owen Meaney". Summer finds her outdoors, especially around water, boating and the like, which makes teaching and Michigan ideal for her.
Jeanie Robertson acts as the interim director of the Oakland University Writing center. She earned her bachelors and masters degree (both secondary education, English emphasis) from Oakland. Jeanie enjoys working with students one-on-one and loves "seeing the light bulbs going off" when a student has found his or her way past a stumbling block. Recently, Jeanie has completed a chapter on revision for a yet to be released/title e-book.
Jennifer Lynn Sertyn will be entering her fourth year of first grade teaching at Garfield Elementary School in Port Huron, Michigan. She almost got transferred to another building, but her wonderful principal fought for her to stay in her home school. Jennifer received her post-baccalaureate teaching certification at Oakland University (home of the Meadowbrook Writing Project!) She graduated Walsh College in 2000 with her MBA, and previously attended Michigan State University's pre-veterinary program, but finished with a BA in Business. Jennifer is now an adult who has returned home to live with her parents (all that college tuition!), but she is in the process of buying a condo in Chesterfield Township. Her parents own two Jets Pizza places, one in St. Clair, and the other in Marine City. She has a younger brother who married last October, and she may become Godmother to her friend's first-born child (as long as her friend's emotions don't get the best of her first!) Jennifer loves writing and reading and inspiring young minds to feel the same.
John Callaghan is a veteran teacher. He teaches English at Dakota High School in Chippewa Valley Schools and has taught in the district since 1979. Before that he taught English and coached football and basketball at Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview, Michigan from 1968 to 1979. His first teaching experience was at Brother Rice High School in Birmingham, Michigan from 1962 to 1968. He taught English and Latin during those years and also coached the freshman football team.
John is married to Mary Anne (Caroselli) since 1977. Mary Anne is a kindergarten teacher at Mohawk Elementary in Chippewa Valley Schools. John and Mary Anne have four children: John III, Joseph Silvio, Kevin Andrew, and Molly Elizabeth. John III and Joe are graduates of Chippewa Valley High School and Kevin and Molly are graduates of Dakota High School. John III is almost finished with his physical education degree at Eastern Michigan University; Joe is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University (Telecommunications); Kevin is studying English at Western Michigan University and wants to teach high school English; and Molly is a senior at Michigan State University, majoring in psychology.
John intends to keep teaching not only because he loves teaching but also because he has three children still in college...
Joy Moss has been teaching for three years in the Detroit Public Schools in various grade levels. In the upcoming year she will be teaching 7th and 8th grade classes in ELA/Journalism. Her goal for the year is to acquire 35 used laptops and document whether students will write more using technology versus writing by hand.
Karen is a teacher leader for Detroit Public Schools. She has been teaching upper elementary for the past 15 years. She has a genuine interest and concern for her students. Karen, enjoys teaching Language Arts especially poetry "because you are able to express a part of your spirit." Outside of teaching she enjoys international travel and missionary work in Haiti. Karen completed her undergraduate work at Michigan State University and graduate work at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is planning to continue on with her PH.D in the near future.
Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich is a teacher in the Plymouth-Canton Community School District currently working as an ELA support teacher. The P-CCS District's focus on the English language arts offers many opportunities for professional study and classroom collaborations. Her work as associate director of the Meadow Brook Writing Project continues to inspire her learning, teaching, and writing!
Kristina Sobota is a writing teacher at Dakota High School in Macomb, Michigan. She has been attempting to pass along the joys of writing to young minds for eight years. She mostly teaches grades 10 - 12. She is the sole founder and sponsor of Dakota's one and only writing club. She has been married for almost 3 years, and she drives faster than ever because she has ease of mind knowing that her husband can argue his way out of any kind of trouble she encounters. Her husband is a very ambitious lawyer. She has an MA + certification from the University of Michigan. GO BLUE!!! This is also where she received her BA in English and Communications. She has been nominated for teacher of the year twice-----it is always an honor to be nominated, but some other teachers won on account of experience. She is looking forward to starting a family soon, and has started out the process by acquiring a cat. She is a self professed "Word Nerd", who loves the use and meanings of words. She hopes you will someday see her name on a Best Seller's List.
Mary Cox is a teacher of 37 years who has been an active participant in the Writing Project for twenty years and is a director of the Meadow Brook Writing Project. She presently teaches at Renaissance High School. Her interests, besides her involvement in teaching, include reading, poetry, classical music, and walking on Belle Isle. She lives downtown Detroit with her two cats, Cleo and Stinky, overlooking the Detroit River.
Matt Ittig has been teaching English classes for six yeas, and currently teaches eleventh grade at Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences in Detroit, Michigan. He received a B.S. in Education from CMU and M.A. from U of M. Matt believes in models--just edit the model--short and sweet--yet others find him profound.
This is Mikki Zachary's fourth full year of teaching with Detroit Public Schools (DPS). She presently teaches at Elmdale Elementary School. Prior to teaching, Mikki was a DPS secretary for 18 years. "Life on the other side of the counter is totally different." As a secretary, she was the first face seen by the public; it was all about customer service, building relationships with the community. Whereas being a classroom teacher Mikki focuses on building a relationship with her students. "My passion is teaching elementary-aged students as I can mold their young minds and see the fruits of my labor." Mikki would like to be remembered for her dedication to her calling to teach. Also, she would like to be remembered for her laughter and smile. "My grandma use to say I will live a long life as I seem to always have a smile on my face." During those rare moments of relaxation and enjoyment, Mikki says, "When I let my hair down, I love to dance and rollerskate." Ballroom, bop, and even chop are dances of choice. "These two outlets allow me to get my frustrations out and it beats any exercise tape." As for writing, as a participant in the Meadowbrook Writing Project, "I would like to gain skills to develop my own writing; bring it to life, make a connection to the outside world. As writers we need to embrace the idea that there are no great writers, just great re-writers.
Regina has been a first, third, and fourth grade teacher in Detroit Public Schools for eight years. She is looking forward to teaching second grade for the 2006-2007 school year. Regina loves teaching reading and math and her students excel at writing. She is very creative and loves jewelry making, and she engages her students in many activities which allow them to explore their creative side. Regina has a natural ability to relate to her students and genuinely loves education. Traveling within the U.S. and abroad and exploring other cultures is something Regina also enjoys. She attended Oakland University and the University of Detroit Mercy.
Sue Crill has been with the Detroit Public Schools for 3 years. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Wayne State University and did her undergraduate work at U of M. So far, in her short teaching career, she's been a guest teacher of students K-6; graded 8th grade science MEAP written essays; been the Director of a Summer School remedial math & reading program; taught 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th graders (math, English, Creative Writing & Literature) and enjoyed and learned something from each experience. Just this past school year, she got a chance at her dream job of teaching 1st graders at the Duke Ellington Conservatory of Music and Art. In her spare time, she enjoys getting together with family & friends at her cottage, reading, writing, collecting antique books and cycling.