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I truly believe that teachers are responsible for the future of society.

Michelle Vanhala
2014 Fellow

Michelle Vanhala

2014 Fellow
Tecumseh High School
Tecumseh, Michigan

Since graduating from high school, Michelle has been involved with youth in various capacities. She started off working as a high school marching band instructor at her alma mater. While studying integrated science and English at Central Michigan University (CMU), she taught elementary school students in an afterschool educational program and worked as a peer tutor and a writing center consultant for the university. Michelle also participated in three education-related alternative spring break activities. As an academic orientation mentor, one of her favorite jobs to date, she worked with CMU-bound high school seniors to help ease their transition to the university. Additionally, as a participant in the STEM Research in Education Program, she worked with high school students across the state to complete science experiments with an emphasis on engineering and design. Through this program, she uncovered her love for doing demonstrations and lab experiments with students; seeing their engagement and the authentic questions that arose from their natural curiosity about the hands-on science that they were performing reaffirmed her decision to pursue teaching as a profession.

During her undergraduate career, Michelle studied abroad in London and Beijing. She also volunteered as an education intern in Cape Coast, Ghana. In this role, she observed, assisted and taught science and English lessons at Mary Queen of Peace Junior High School.

As a science teacher, she hopes “to inspire her students to love learning, to continually ask questions, to think critically about the world around them, and to actively, articulately, and respectfully express their thoughts, opinions, and knowledge.”

When asked about joining the KSTF community, Michelle stated, “I’m so honored and excited to be a part of a program that will provide support and resources to help me make a difference, as I inspire my students to get excited about the science in their daily lives.”

Michelle’s hobbies include reading and traveling.