OMS teachers Kristin Tuinier and Janell Baker in a work session at a summer writing professional development project at WMU.
Summer isn't just a time to regroup for many teachers, two OMS teachers are among many to take time to improve their skills and learn new things to bring back into the classroom.

From WMU Dept. of English:

Otsego Middle School Teachers Participate in Teacher Leadership Institute

Otsego Middle School Spanish teachers Kristin Tuinier and Janell Baker recently completed the Third Coast Writing Project’s 2012 Teacher Leadership Institute on the campus of Western Michigan University, July 9-20.

Supported by a $20,000 grant from the National Writing Project from the U.S. Department of Education's Title II Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) initiative, this program brought together teachers in all disciplines to engage in writing, discuss writing pedagogy, and consider issues in writing and literacy as they relate to teaching and education.

Participants were selected via a competitive application process. Each selected participant received $750 that could be applied for graduate credit or taken as a stand-alone stipend.  The program also includes support for these teachers as they take projects and initiatives back to their schools.

During the program, participants conducted research into ‘big questions’ of language, writing, and literacy and committed to continuing their inquiry by engaging in a leadership activity in their school. With the support of mentors, participants developed proposals and action plans to engage in curricular and pedagogical leadership in the upcoming school year.

The program was led by Pen Campbell, St. Joseph (MI) High School, and Dr. Jonathan Bush, professor of English and chair of the WMU English Department.

“We’re excited that these outstanding teachers took a significant portion of their summers to engage in this complex and demanding work,” stated Bush. “Classroom teachers hold a vast knowledge of education and we’re pleased to support them as they provide leadership in their schools.”

Tuinier and Baker will continue their interest in writing and literacy by leading an initiative helping teachers unify and collaborate through writing in all subject areas.  They will return to WMU’s campus in early December to give an update on their project and continue their inquiry.

The National Writing Project is a network of over 200 local sites, providing support, professional development, and continuity for thousands of teachers across the U.S.  Housed at the Department of English at Western Michigan University, the Third Coast Writing Project has been supporting teachers since 1994.

More materials from the TCWP Teacher Leadership Institute are available at