Browning Elementary principal Tricia Hassell is the only Detroit-area educator selected to participate in a leadership program that focuses on international experiences.
Hassell is among 11 Michigan educators for the Gerstacker Fellowship at Saginaw Valley State University. She is the first UCS staff members to take part in this program.
“Mrs. Hassell is an outstanding educator and we are pleased she will be able to participate in this opportunity,” superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Her selection is consistent with the overall direction of Utica Community Schools to promote international education and experiences for our students and staff.”
Through the Fellowship, Hassell will receive concentrated leadership training over a one-year period, including a capstone international experience that introduces the Fellows to universities and K-12 schools in Shanghai and Chongquing, China and Taipei, Taiwan.
Funded by an endowment from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland, program participants are known as Gerstacker Fellows and meet monthly on weekends. SVSU faculty from various disciplines instruct the Fellows on subjects dealing with organizational leadership, ethics, finances, communication, human resources, entrepreneurship and education with a global perspective.
“I’m very proud to represent Utica Community Schools in this important program,” Hassell said. “The opportunities that are available to me through this Fellowship will directly benefit our district’s college culture and its emphasis on international opportunities for our students.”
UCS students have an array of experiences related to international education, including the Utica Academy for International Studies and the Mandarin immersion program, which begins in kindergarten at Oakbrook Elementary.
In addition to Hassell, other educators selected for the Gerstacker Fellowship are:
• Craig Blower, principal at Swan Valley Middle School in Saginaw
• Robin Bott, a social studies and language arts teacher at Northeast Middle School in Midland
• Molly K. Bruzewski, curriculum coordinator at the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District
• Phillip Heller, principal at Bay City Western High School
• Jennifer Herzog, a science teacher at Coleman High School
• Bridget Hockemeyer, elementary principal in the Midland Public Schools
• Adele Martin, elementary principal in the Frankenmuth School District
• Kathleen Schmidt, elementary principal at Morton Elementary School in Marysville
• Stephen Sevener, principal at Auburn Elementary in Bay City
• Kyle Wood, principal of Marlette Junior/Senior High School
Gerstacker Fellows were selected based on past academic and service accomplishments, along with outside recommendations. They were nominated by a supervisor from their home school districts.
As a result of the Gerstacker endowment, there is no charge to program participants unless they elect to have the educational experience considered for graduate credit.