News Release

22 Jun 2017

Michigan teacher of the year partners with
Van Andel Education Institute

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI (June 20, 2017)—2017-2018 Michigan Teacher of the Year Luke Wilcox and Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) will partner in supporting and improving the quality of education in Michigan and beyond. The partnership will center around a shared workspace between Wilcox and VAEI.

“I am excited about the opportunity to get teachers collaborating in such an innovative workspace,” Wilcox said. “We envision Van Andel Education Institute as a hub where teachers can connect to help improve their craft.” Wilcox plans to develop opportunities for teachers to learn more about inquiry-based science and math instruction, to share best practices and to investigate what’s coming next in education. He also plans to use the venue and partnership to grow elite educational leaders.

Photo credit: Morgan Tinney

VAEI, the education division of Van Andel Institute—an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization located in Grand Rapids, Michigan—promotes a hands-on, inquiry-based model for science instruction. VAEI currently offers a variety of teacher professional development programs, as well as student programming aimed at getting students to “think like scientists.” Additionally, VAEI has developed its own platform for student learning, called NexGen Inquiry®, which is being utilized by schools across the country.

“We are thrilled to be working with Luke,” said Terra Tarango, VAEI director and education officer. “The energy he brings to education is contagious, and we are honored to collaborate with him and provide a venue to support his efforts.” Tarango believes the sharing of space and ideas will help VAEI increase its impact in creating classrooms where curiosity, creativity and critical thinking thrive.

Wilcox is a math teacher at East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, Michigan. Luke has been actively involved in the leadership at his school as an Academic Support Coach and Math Department Chairperson. Outside his school, Luke often presents keynotes and workshops at schools and national conferences. He was recognized two years ago with the Presidential Award for Teaching Mathematics and was more recently identified as the 2017-2018 Michigan Teacher of the Year. Luke spends his summers training teachersnationally and internationally.

Tracy Horodyski, the 2016-2017 Michigan Teacher of the Year, will also be involved with the project. She plans to use VAEI’s inquiry model to help teachers think about improving their craft.

Please note: This release was originally distributed by the Luke Wilcox. This is a re-post. 

Media Contacts
Luke Wilcox, 616.322.7173, luke.wilcox@gmail.com
Beth Hinshaw Hall, 616.234.5519, beth.hinshawhall@vai.org