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Alumni News

2011 | 2010 | 2009-02

Alumna Kathleen Donaldson, physical education, received the Simon A. McNeely Honor Award. (December 2008)

Congratulations to H. Candice Churchwell (M.A., Educational Leadership), for being named principal of East Middle School in Ypsilanti. (July, 2008)

Penny Callen Smeltzer, a Texas math and statistics teacher has been named National Teacher of the Year for Advanced Placement (2008). Smeltzer will receive the award in July at the National Advanced Placement conference in Seattle. The award is for instructors of AP math and science courses, which are college-level classes for high school students. Smeltzer graduated from WMU in 1978 recieving a degree in secondary education with concentrations in history and math.

Jennifer Rupp, the Executive Director for the Marshall Histocial Society, was this year's speaker at the 2008 Marshall Mayor's Prayer Breakfast. Her speech focused on how religion shaped Marshall's history and how it influenced the settlement of Michigan.
Rupp attended Western Michigan University where she earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public History and Secondary Education majoring in History. While at WMU she was the feature twirler of the Bronco Marching Band for three years. She began twirling at the age of 5 and won several national titles and was invited to perform at the French Bicentennial celebration in Paris, France. Jennifer has also choreographed musical theatre and competitive marching band colorguards. She has held positions in the marketing department of WOTV-ABC 41 in Battle Creek and was a Senior Underwriter with State Farm Insurance Company at the Michigan Operations Center in Marshall. She is currently the Executive Director of the Marshall Historical Society. Rupp first became involved with the Marshall Historical Society during her undergraduate internship in 1997 when she worked at Capitol Hill School and at the Honolulu House Museum. Now, more than 10 years later she has found herself back "at home" in her new position. Rupp lives in Marshall with her husband, Chris and their two young children. (News from The Marshall Chronicle)

Scott Rolando, B.S. Secondary Education (Biology) '01, a Lakeland High School teacher and Student Activities Director has been named the 2007 State of Michigan recipient of The I CAN Learn - NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. This outstanding award, from the National Education Association Foundation and the Michigan Education Association, recognizes individuals who exhibit outstanding teaching, creativity, community engagement, advocacy, attention to diversity and professional development.

Rolando received $1,000 to spend on instructional supplies and materials, or use toward professional development that benefits all of the educators at Lakeland High School.

Rolando is in his sixth year teaching and in his second year as Student Activities Director at Lakeland High School. He teaches Health and Student Leadership. Rolando, a resident of Hartland, is married to another Lakeland teacher, Melissa Rolando, who teaches special education.

Wayne Buletza (B.S., 1977, M.S. 1974 and Ed.D., 1979), has joined the Olivet faculty as assistant professor of education. He most recently served as associate superintendent for Eaton Intermediate School District and also worked as the director of special education services and the special education supervisor for Eaton ISD. He earned a bachelor's, master's and doctor of education degree from Western Michigan University.

Dr. Carol Strip Whitney (B.S, 1966 and M.A., 1969 WMU; Ph.D., Ohio State) launched her second book entitled "A Love for Learning: Motivation and the Gifted Child". Carol is a gifted education specialist with the Olentangy Schools and adjunct professor at The Ohio State University. Carol states, "Gifted children can and do learn everywhere; the trick is to maintain their motivation to learn in school." Carol taught in Kalamazoo for 12 years before moving to Ohio where she has started two successful programs in two of the fastest growing areas of the state.

Mike Huber

Dionne GilmoreDionne Gilmore, representing WMU, was recognized as a "Young Woman of Achievement" at the 2004 YWCA Women of Achievement Award Celebration, held May 6, 2004 in the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Ms. Gilmore is the daughter of Deborah and Charles Gilmore of Boston, MA. She will be graduating with her master's degree in Education at Western Michigan University in June, 2004 and has a bachelor's degree from Fayetteville State University. She received a Thurgood Marshall Assistantship and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society. While pursuing her MA, she serves as a Project Good Start mentor and math tutor to undergraduate education students.

2003-04 Michigan Teacher of the Year Award - William R. Cecil (1986)
Michigan Department of Education, Western Michigan University News

2003 Outstanding Adult Learner (WMU Lansing Campus) - Teresa Ann Merritt-Ellis
Western Michigan University News

2002 Oregon Teacher of the Year Award - Deborah White (1976)
Western Michigan University News

15th President of the University of Minnesota - Dr. Robert H. Bruininks
Western Michigan University News