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Heartbeat of the Community: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers in Rural Schools

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Time: 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Central Michigan University
College of Education and Human Services
French Auditorium
195 E. Ojibway Ct.
Mt. Pleasant, MI, 48859


REL Midwest is hosting a 90-minute documentary screening and panel discussion about the research on teacher preparation and recruitment across the country—specifically in rural Michigan—and the actions that state and local education leaders are taking to recruit and retain teachers.

In the documentary, experts Yinmei Wan, PhD, of REL Midwest and Dan Goldhaber, PhD, of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at the American Institutes for Research discuss teacher recruitment and retention challenges in Michigan, as well as national trends in teacher staffing. The documentary also features the perspectives and experiences of state leaders, district leaders, current teachers, and prospective teachers in Michigan. Featured programs include Central Michigan University’s teacher education program and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Teacher Academy.

After the screening, REL Midwest is facilitating a panel discussion with individuals featured in the documentary. Attendees can ask questions about the documentary, the research, and programs featured in the documentary.

Partnership: Midwest Alliance to Improve Teacher Preparation


  • Jillian Davidson, PhD, Director of Clinical Experiences, Central Michigan University
  • Jennifer Robel, Department Manager, Office of Educator Excellence, Michigan Department of Education
  • Katherine Bertolini, PhD, Superintendent, Maple Valley School District
  • Heath Nestle, Teacher, Shepherd Public Schools
  • Dee Yarger, PhD, Principal, Farwell Public Schools