Shannon Williams is the new head of Career Technical Education (CTE) programming at the Macomb Intermediate School District. That means that Shannon has a bird’s eye view of how districts throughout the county are serving technical education. CTE is the combination of schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. These schools and institutions have been the backbone of making Macomb County a successful center for manufacturing. Additionally, CTE has been identified as a key needed area of investment to keep our area a global leader in manufacturing and production technology.
In this profile, Shannon shares with Advancing Macomb her background and the people who inspire her to serve the kids and workforce needs in Macomb County.
In my role as CTE Regional Administrator, I have the great privilege to service 21 school districts as they expand and evolve their CTE offerings. I am always looking for new and innovative ways for business and education to partner and serve each other — and for both to serve students in the best possible way. This goal helps me consistently find ways in which I can strengthen our existing programs and empower the CTE teachers.
I started my teaching career in Utica Community Schools in 2004 where I taught Business and Technology classes. In 2012 I left the classroom to become the CTE Teacher Leader for Utica. In that role, I helped manage the budget and curriculum for approximately 45 teachers, across 5 buildings, covering 16 different career pathways. I was always extremely proud to work in Utica as they had exception teachers and endless opportunities for students.
In January of 2017 however, I was offered a wonderful opportunity to become the Career and Technical Education Regional Administrator for Macomb County. It was a hard decision to leave Utica but the chance to help all districts in Macomb County advance CTE opportunities for students was something near and dear to my heart.
The world of Career & Technical Education is in constant motion. From new and emerging industries to innovative ways of transforming the classroom environment; I welcome the opportunities and look forward to working with all stakeholders in Macomb County (educators, students, parents, and industry partners). My predecessor Scott Palmer has worked diligently creating partnerships with our robust manufacturing community; I look forward to continuing the work he has started. I also believe we have a growing need to strengthen our curriculum and partnerships in the world of information technology, with specific focus on computer programming and cyber security. It is a very exciting time to be in Career and Technical Education.
A few of the outstanding teachers are profiled below. This is just a sample of how dedicated teachers are throughout our community. There are many programs, many people, many resources – but unfortunately not enough resources to completely fill the needs we have in Macomb and the Detroit area to maintain and grow our globally competitive position in manufacturing and production technology.
Jesse has been an outstanding Welding instructor at Stevenson High School for 13 years. He works diligently to prepare students for a myriad of competitions such Ferris State and Boilermakers Local 169 Invitational, American Welding Society, MITES, and Skills USA where his students have qualified for nationals. Jesse stays after school regularly to engage and further enrich his students’ skills with open lab session, advisory committee meetings, and school activities and events. He organizes scrap metal drives, pop cans for certification, and involves his students in repair and maintenance of school property such as desks, chair, and table, thus saving the district much-needed funds. Jesse makes learning fun by involving students in experiments that connect science and math to welding and giving them real-world experiences that mirror industry practices. His students are now able to earn certification in Mig, Tig, and stick welding which provides broader post-secondary options.
Kristy loves teaching accounting and all business principles; she is always looking for new and creative ways to teach content. She is constantly finding ways to use real life experiences in her classroom. One student wrote: “Her love and passion …shines every day through her teaching and seeing someone actually enjoy spending quality time with their students is so refreshing. One of my life goals is to become as true and amazing as she is. It is such a privilege to say that my teacher is my idol.”
Chef Darrel Shepherd is the culinary and food instructor at South Lake High School. Chef Shepherd motivates students by keeping them actively engaged in learning. He brings students into the school’s restaurant, South Lake Bistro, and guides them through the planning and creation of meal menus. Students then prepare and cook the menu items under his direction. He also provides endless opportunities for community service hours, a requirement for students to graduate. He participates in events such as Empty Bowls at Assumption Church and provides Thanksgiving meals for those less fortunate.
Carol King is a master teacher of health and sports medicine that has shown her commitment to The Pankow Center and her dedication to students. Carol is a life-long learner and is always sharing her experiences with her students. She looks for unique ways to engage them in meaningful and fun activities that foster their development and growth. She is effective in her classroom management and is very organized in her approach to teaching. Above all, Carol is willing to adjust instruction and adapt to the needs of all students. It is precisely this combination of creativity, care for others, and deep sense of professional responsibility and personal growth that make her such an incredibly effective teacher. Acknowledgment of her strengths by her colleagues is universally understood and as a result, she is held in the highest regard.