Employee Recognition

The following employees have proven to be outstanding individuals and deserve recognition.

PESG and a participating school district would like to take the opportunity to thank the following employees for their work. They have shown outstanding dedication and have demonstrated the PESG standards our districts have come to expect.

Photo of Patricia Wyckoff

Patricia Wyckoff | Ottawa– Zeeland Public Schools | Employed Since 07/11/2008

Patricia is a phenomenal guest teacher! She goes above and beyond what is needed. The students love having her in class and have the greatest respect for her. You can call Pat the night before and give her last minute details for a class and things are covered. If things don’t go as planned sometimes during class, Pat has no problems coming up with a “Plan B.” She is awesome and a huge asset to ZPS! Thank you Pat, for all you do for us!

Debra Kamps | Zeeland Public Schools

I believe teaching is a calling. I have been given the ability to inspire, guide, encourage, and believe in the next generation. I love learning and bring that excitement to the classroom. I teach for the possibility of making a difference in a child’s life. The kids all know that Mrs. Wyckoff really cares. The knowledge I received by earning a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University, gives me the tools needed in order to help children learn. PESG gives me the opportunity to teach in my hometown, to get to know the kids on a personal basis, and do what I love to do; see that “spark” in an eye that a student has learned something new.

Photo of Juli Huddleston

Juli Huddleston | Washtenaw – Dexter | Employed Since 6/1/2007

Juli Huddleston is a returning substitute and one that truly knows our district! Our staff is fighting over her! Her knowledge of the district, staff community and children makes her irreplaceable. She is always on her toes with what our needs are (…sometimes before we even know) Her willingness to accommodate is always appreciated and we sincerely hope that she knows the staff and students of Dexter appreciate all she does.

Dori Gross | Dexter Community Schools

Individualizing education so that all children are successful are something I strive for, and it’s important that we work with our students to find what works best for them. The PESG system allows me to work at a wider variety of schools; one day I’m in kindergarten, the next I’m at the high school. Substitute teaching gives you a different perspective than staying in one classroom for your career. It bothers some people not to know where they’ll be each day but to me that’s what makes substitute teaching so much fun.

Photo of Cheryl Walhout

Cheryl Walhout | Kent – Byron Center Charter | Employed Since 11/27/2007

Cheryl Walhout took over for our 2nd grade teacher for 9 weeks during a maternity leave. Cheryl became part of the “team” right away. She was at school early to prepare, communicated very well with the parents, staff, and students. Her lessons were well thought out, meaningful, and very well applicable. The class did not miss a beat while she was here. Her past teaching experience was very evident. Thank you Cheryl for your great work at our school, and for being a caring dependable, and motivated teacher.

Michell Jaarsma | Ottawa Area Center

I have always wanted to be a teacher. Receiving a Bachelor Degree from Calvin College with an emphasis in Language Arts in 1987 helped me to begin my career in education. What excites me about education is that I enjoy the challenge of helping each student find the way in which learning is the most meaningful to them. PESG gives me the opportunity to teach in different school districts. Being new to Kent County this year, I have appreciated the diversity this has allowed me. Further on in my education career, I would like to obtain a full time teaching position, preferably in a first, second, or third grade classroom.

Photo of Diane Feenstra

Diane Feenstra | Ottawa – Zeeland School District | Employed Since 9/14/2007

Diane Feenstra is surely my most requested substitute teacher. Her positive personality, calm demeanor, and professionalism displayed as a guest teacher provide me peace of mind during my absences from the classroom. Diane is willing to teach any subject and refuses to view her opportunities to teach as just “filling time.” She approaches the lessons with the same sincerity as the educator who prepares them, and for this reason I know I can leave just about any plan and have assurance that she will follow them accordingly. She always provides meaningful feedback for each class taught, and holds students to the highest expectations. If ever directions are unclear or plans change due to unforeseen circumstances, Diane confidently and competently improvises. Diane is most certainly an asset to Zeeland Public Schools. Thank-you Diane for all you do!

Debra Kamps | Zeeland School District

I love having a small role in fostering students “aha” moments, those times when they grasp something new and then gain confidence through applying the concept. I also value the opportunity to be another source of positive encouragement in their lives. As a retired teacher, I only want to continue helping classroom teachers any way I can while impacting their students in what I hope is a positive manner. PESG makes the scheduling of my work days easy and efficient, and keeping track of my past, present, and, future assignments are now a breeze.

Photo of Marcia Rhoda

Marcia Rhoda | Ottawa – Ottawa Area | Employed Since 9/1/2006

Marcia is a valued sub here at the Ottawa Area Center. She has been subbing with us since September 26, 2002. She is here with us nearly every day and works with in a variety of classrooms as a teacher and paraprofessional. She is not afraid to pitch in and help where she is needed. Subs that are so available and flexible are precious to us here at the Ottawa Area Center and we appreciate Marcia for being one of these valuable subs for almost 6 years!

Michell Jaarsma | Ottawa Area Center

I chose this career because of the enjoyment of interacting with students and knowing that I have been able to help students achieve their goals. I have a degree in Child Development with an emphasis in elementary education. PESG has enabled me to still work with students while being available to my family and their needs.

Photo of Martha Vugteveen

Martha Vugteveen | Ottawa – Ottawa Area ISD | Employed Since 7/11/2008

Martha Vugteveen is an Outstanding Substitute. Martha does that "little extra" that makes her so special. Martha has come in on her own time to do music with our students at the Ottawa Area Center and has also voluntarily filled in at music time when our regular Music teacher is out. She has always went a little above and beyond what we ask of her and she does it all with a giving heart. Thank you, Martha, for being a special OAC sub!

Michell Jaarsma | Ottawa Area Center

I love to see kids smile, and I love to be part of that. I want to keep working with the kids, they teach me a lot. PESG has helped me because I am able to work with kids and share my love of music and singing with them. Working with special needs kids is especially rewarding. Thank you for the opportunity.

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Carolyn Buratovich | Jackson – Western Schools | Employed Since 9/05/2008

Carolyn is the best! The teachers all love the great job she does. We wish there were a hundred more of her.

Andrea Kosla | Hartland Schools

I love helping children learn and watching them grow educationally. I have a Masters degree for School Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Elementary Teaching. I have not been in the classroom for many years, and PESG has helped me get back in the classroom. Substitute teaching allows me to get classroom experience again in all grade levels and get additional ideas for making a class the best it can be.

Photo of Barbara Libra

Barbara Libra | Washtenaw – Dexter | Employed Since 6/21/2007

Barbara Libra would be a district preferred substitute but one building has kept her busy throughout the year all by itself. Barbara, like some others, has also worked almost every day for us. She has become an asset because of her flexibility and the time she has taken through the years to learn about the building, staff and students. Barbara was a great help to human resources during our transition to the new substitute system. She went out of her way to offer her input and suggestions and they have been greatly appreciated. We couldn't have "fine-tuned' things without her efforts! We at Dexter Community Schools, especially those at Wylie Elementary, sincerely appreciate her hard work and all that she does for us!

Dori Gross | Dexter Community Schools

I love seeing the expression on a child’s face when they understand a concept – Most children are excited about learning. I’m currently taking additional classes to strengthen my educational knowledge and background and hope to have my teaching certification soon. Thanks to PESG I have had many opportunities to be in the class room and gain experience and knowledge about the education field.

Photo of JoAnn Bird

JoAnn Bird | Ottawa – Zeeland Public Schools | Employed Since 07/01/2008

JoAnn is an outstanding sub, who goes above and beyond the expectations of a substitute teacher. If/when possible, she asks for lesson plans ahead of time so that she can be prepared with extra activities and ideas when necessary. Her positive and upbeat attitude and personality enable her to connect with kids and do her job well. Students respect her and she always gets the job done. She is FANTASTIC! I never worry when I leave my class I her hands. She goes the extra mile to see what she can do to help me out. Thank you JoAnn.

Debra Kamps | Zeeland Public Schools

I love to learn and love to guide others in the path of life-long learning. Education allows me to use my English, German, and Spanish language skills in a creative way, working with children. I graduated from Hope College, and took classes at several other colleges, including classes in Berlin, and Gottingen Germany; Soria Spain, and in Costa Rica. This has helped round my over –all education by diversifying my knowledge. I hope to continue to teach in Ottawa County on a flexible schedule. I love to keep abreast of students and their academic environments. PESG has allowed me, as a retired teacher, to keep my certificate valid, and to work flexible hours in the school of my choice. I also keep up-to-date with staff concerns regarding student achievements. I love to make a difference in peoples’ lives and hope that every day I sub, is worthwhile for the students I service. Children today need mentors that care about them.”

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Debra Fritz | Van Buren - Bloomingdale | Employed Since 7/26/2007

Debra works very well with our students, staff, and provides quality teaching and learning opportunities. She is always here for us!

Patrick Creagan | Bloomingdale Schools

My Kindergarten teacher made learning fun and it looked like fun to teach. Now working with the students, staff, and parents, thanks to PESG, I love to teach and watch students achieve. I have a bachelor’s in Group Social studies, and am a certified elementary teacher. I would like to continue my education and get a masters degree to better help children learn.

Photo of Alvera Kidder

Alvera Kidder | Kent – Kenowa Hills | Employed Since 7/26/2007

Alvera has subbed in my room often in the past several years. She does an outstanding job getting through all my lesson plans, and keeping track of who does well on each topic. She is very caring and kind to the children, and they LOVE having her. Thank you Alvera for all of your wonderful work. I love having you sub for me!

Delia Bush | Kenowa Hills Schools

I loved school as a child and always adored my teachers. As a result I always wanted to be a teacher, and never considered any other career. I graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I have enjoyed teaching 4th & 5th graders for 32 years! I have been substitute teaching since 2002, and hope to do much more. PESG has allowed me to learn so much more by teaching every grade level from kindergarten through 6th grade. I have grown and learned so much more in education by working in so many different classrooms.

Photo of Ronald Lewis

Ronald Lewis | Jackson – Western Schools | Employed Since 8/19/2008

Ron is our number one, special education sub. Special Education is a hard position to fill and Ron does a fabulous job. We use him in a position somewhere nearly every day.

Carol Uphaus | Western Schools

What excites me about education is working with young people and watching them shine when they are successful. My aspirations are to learn better ways to help kids with their early education especially special education kids. PESG has helped local school districts reduce the cost and other overhead expenses involved with finding and hiring subs. I have always been interested in helping improve our educational systems, and am currently serving my second term on the Concord Community School’s Board of Education.

Photo of Cheryl Walhout

Cheryl Walhout | Kent – Byron Center Charter | Employed Since 11/27/2007

Cheryl Walhout took over for our 2nd grade teacher for 9 weeks during a maternity leave. Cheryl became part of the “team” right away. She was at school early to prepare, communicated very well with the parents, staff, and students. Her lessons were well thought out, meaningful, and very well applicable. The class did not miss a beat while she was here. Her past teaching experience was very evident. Thank you Cheryl for your great work at our school, and for being a caring dependable, and motivated teacher.

Michell Jaarsma | Ottawa Area Center

I have always wanted to be a teacher. Receiving a Bachelor Degree from Calvin College with an emphasis in Language Arts in 1987 helped me to begin my career in education. What excites me about education is that I enjoy the challenge of helping each student find the way in which learning is the most meaningful to them. PESG gives me the opportunity to teach in different school districts. Being new to Kent County this year, I have appreciated the diversity this has allowed me. Further on in my education career, I would like to obtain a full time teaching position, preferably in a first, second, or third grade classroom.

Photo of Robin Cook

Robin Cook | Clinton – Bath Community Schools | Employed Since 7/30/2008

Robin is a very dependable substitute no matter what classroom she substitutes in. Her schedule is flexible, and she always performs her tasks in a polite and professional manner. She is always friendly and courteous to both students, and staff. From all of us here at Bath Community Schools, thank you Robin.

Jackie Shelest | Bath Community Schools

Working with the kids is what makes this job so rewarding and fun. Seeing their smiling faces everyday and encouraging their excitement, and love for learning is why I enjoy my job so much. This is why I have chosen education as my career path. PESG has given me the ability to work part time in my children’s school, while also having the flexibility of being a full time mom of three. The staff at Bath elementary is very welcoming and supportive. The teachers I have worked with do a fabulous job with their students, and I am thankful to work in their classrooms.

Photo of Renee Bauder

Renee Bauder | Ottawa– Ottawa Area ISD | Employed Since 07/1/2008

Renee has been a sub with us here at the Ottawa Area Center for several years and the staff have really enjoyed her in their classrooms. Renee has been a blessing to us as a sub and fits in whatever classroom that she is placed in. When I asked the staff to tell me why Renee is such a good fit in their classroom I had overwhelming responses of she is a hard worker, she does what is asked of her and never ever complains, she has a quiet demeanor that works well with our students, but can also stand firm when need be. Thank you Renee for your hard work and wonderful personality.

Michell Jaarsma | Ottawa Area Center-OAISD

Being part of helping students learn, grow, and achieve is very exciting to me and working at the Ottawa Area Center is a place where I enjoy doing just that. I always look forward to spending time and interacting with the students, and so often I find myself learning from them too. PESG has enabled me to have a flexible schedule and has also given me the opportunity to work in a variety of classrooms. This has allowed me to get to know many of the students as well as the stuff. Both have been a blessing to me!

Photo of Lynnette Walker

Lynnette Walker | Van Buren – Paw Paw | Employed Since 6/21/2007

Lynnette is one of our "Fab Five" Teacher Subs. She is familiar with our students, staff and parents and is respected in our district and community. Lynnette is an excellent educator. Lesson plans were followed and the classroom left in order. Lynnette is a cheerful, fun loving, energetic and caring person. Her gift for teaching makes her an asset to any school district. Paw Paw Public Schools appreciates you, Lynnette, and wish you a successful teaching career.

Linda S. Miller | Paw Paw Public Schools

I enjoy the challenge of finding the best way to reach my students, which means learning who they are and what excites them; adapting my teaching so they want to learn. I earned my Provisional Teaching Certification in April of 2007 in English and Speech from WMU. PESG has allowed me flexibility to work where I want, while also giving me the opportunity to adjust my schedule as needed. I hope to someday work in the SW Michigan in either a middle or high school.

Photo of Carole Morrison

Carole Morrison | Ingham – Lansing Schools | Employed Since 9/29/2008

Ms. Morrison has come to feel like an adjunct staff member. Her positive attitude, ability to carry out lesson plans, manage students, provide good feedback, and the fact that she learned so many of the student’s names are the things which have made her valuable to us.

Diane Roth | Lansing Schools

I have chosen substitute teaching because I like the idea of helping others help themselves. Education allows them to see their hidden potential and I enjoy encouraging them to succeed. I would like the give PESG and the staff at Lansing Public schools proper “Kudos” for their support. I believe it has helped me feel comfortable and allowed me to be a better substitute for the students.

Photo of Donald Baker

Donald Baker | Jackson – Western Schools | Employed Since 9/05/2008

Donald is an outstanding substitute teacher. He is so talented that nearly every teacher requests him. We so appreciate his following lesson plans (always) and the Great job he does.

Carol Uphaus | Western School District

Watching children develop in their education and get excited about learning is rewarding. I have bachelors in business and a master of ministry in religion from Azusa Pacific University. Substitutes provide a valuable service to their districts, and thanks to PESG those services are more widely available. I plan to continue to provide that service.

Photo of Lois Boone

Lois Boone | Clinton – Ovid-Elsie | Employed Since 6/26/2008

Lois Boone is always punctual. She is one of the first subs everyone thinks of when they know they are going to be away, as she was a full-time teacher here for forty years. She keeps absolute control of the classroom, and her knowledge of the subjects she agrees to teach is formidable. Lois is well-loved by the O-E staff, and she demonstrates the old-fashioned work ethic you rarely see in the new generation of teachers. Thank you Lois! You embody all of the principals of good character, and we hope you substitute teach with us for years to come.

Dori Gross | Dexter Community Schools

I love to see young people’s faces when they feel challenged then to realize they understand and can complete a task. I have a Bachelors Degree from Central Michigan University with a major in History and a minor in English. PESG helps me to get into the classroom and makes finding assignments easy. Young People have been my focus for over 40 years, and I believe I still have the ability to help them grow into productive young citizens.

Photo of Darcie Kyes

Darcie Kyes | Clinton– Bath Community | Employed Since 9/09/2008

Darcie is very dependable, as well as flexible in every classroom I put her in. She is friendly and well received by students and staff. Her teaching experience gives her the tools she needs to succeed in whatever classroom she teaches. Thank you Darcie from all of us here at Bath Community Schools.

Jackie Shelest | Bath Community Schools

I have chosen a career in education because, I love to be with students and share in their excitement for learning. My aspiration is to continue working in the education arena. PESG has helped me to attain my education career aspirations, and through subbing I am able to work with students, but also have a flexible schedule.”

Photo of Michelle Taylor

Michelle Taylor | Ingham – Lansing School District | Employed Since 7/2/2008

Michelle has subbed numerous times, and she is always so pleasant! One time there was a mixup and the teacher didn't cancel the absence . Michelle was willing to stay and cover another room until the sub arrived. The Lansing School District appreciates your positive attitude, thank you.

Catherine Anderson | Lansing School District

My belief is that every student is capable of learning. I value education and I enjoy seeing students succeed. I am a Graduate of Spring Arbor University with a major in English certified K-8 and my educational aspirations are to obtain my masters of arts in education. I am thankful for PESG. They have given me the experience that I need to become successful. I really enjoy substitute teaching and I hope to soon be able to teach in my own classroom.