Lansing — Alyssa Stepter’s passion for teaching was sparked when she was a student at Averill Primary School in Lansing.
Now, she has come full circle, returning to the Lansing School District through a fellowship that draws people from a variety of backgrounds and professions.
Stepter is one of four fellows who have joined the district through an Urban Leaders Fellowship.
Lansing School District officials see the program as an opportunity to bring in talented young professionals to work on their development, while at the same time developing the district and making a positive impact on the community. The district also sees the program as an opportunity to engage young professionals who may be recruited as district leaders in the future.
The fellowships are part of the school district’s Rewarding Educator Achievement and Performance program, which is funded by federal grants, said Jaime Gundrum, REAP project assistant director for the school district.
“One of the goals of the grant is to increase the workforce at all levels, including management level,” she said. “We know it’s difficult for someone to get into a new district, so this creates an opportunity for them to learn about the district a year before taking office.”
While serving the district, the four fellows rotate in various departments and areas, including human resources, finance, and education.
Fellows entering the Lansing School District this year come from a variety of backgrounds and possess a wide range of skills.
A Flint Community School alumnus, Vincent Price Jr. has served as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of the Detroit West Preparatory Academy, Chief School Administrator of El Hadj Malik El Shabaz Academy in Lansing, and Superintendent of Genesee STEM Academy. According to biographical information provided by the school district.
Nate Gatlin comes to Price Jr. with over 14 years of teaching experience.
Anthony Greenburg’s teaching career began in 2001 at Eastern High School in the Lansing School District, where he taught English. Nine years later, he became the assistant principal of the CW Otto Middle School in Lansing. He moved to Lansing Community College in his 2011 and early he helped launch the college.
Greenberg is back in Lansing after a short stint at Northwest Community School in Jackson’s alternate high school.
Stepter worked as an academic specialist in the Department of Education at Michigan State University, specializing in outreach. She worked with freshmen of color attending her MSU from urban communities to help them adjust to campus and get a head start on their college careers.
She has a similar focus in her work as a Fellow of the Lansing School District.
“Working in urban areas is a deliberate part of my journey to stay focused on[diversity, equity, inclusion]and social justice-focused work,” Stepter said.
Stepter has started a fellowship with the REAP department. For the remainder of the school year, Stepter plans to move to the district’s department, which works to secure competitive grants, then to the Office of School Culture, and finally to alternative education.
“We really hope it will be a mutually beneficial experience for them to learn new skills and contribute to us with the skills they bring.
After the fellowship ended, Stepter kept the option open but did not rule out attending the Lansing School District full-time. She hopes to continue her leadership role focused on urban education issues and educational opportunities for greater access and equity.
“For me, it’s always been that way,” Stepter said. “I’m passionate about it. It fuels me.
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