Michigan Open Book Project Logo, a book with Michigan in it rising out of a tablet

Ronalyn Arseneau

NICE Community School District

Westwood High School

Ronalyn Arseneau teaches Economics and Business at Westwood High School in Ishpeming.  She is a member of the State Executive Board of the Michigan Business Education Association, serving as Vice-President for Membership.  She and her husband, Barry, enjoy traveling to spend time with their three children and their grandson.

Marlene Bailey

Elk Rapids Public Schools

Lakeland Elementary School

Marlene Bailey serves as an elementary social studies chair for the Elk Rapids school district Curriculum Committee. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Education from Michigan State University and a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Louis National University. Bailey has more than 30 years of classroom experience with at least 20 years of teaching fifth grade social studies. Currently part of an International Baccalaureate candidate school writing units of Inquiry for a developing Primary Years Program.

Travis L. Balzer

Shepherd Public Schools

Shepherd Public Schools

Travis L. Balzer is a Shepherd High School social studies teacher concentrating in Economics, Civics and History.  Mr. Balzer (Mr. B) resides in Shepherd with his bride Haley, and daughters Makayla and Mia Jean.  A Gladwin High School graduate.  Parents Vicki and Teddy reside in Gladwin.  Travis’ sister, Kristal and two sons, Isaac and Adam reside in the Lansing area.  Mr. Balzer earned an Economics and Management degree from Albion College and proceeded to obtain teaching certification from Saginaw Valley State University in Social Studies.  In addition, obtaining a masters in Educational leadership from Grand Valley State University.  Hunting, exercising including P90X, biking, running and outdoor activities are great ways that time is spent, when possible.  In addition, Travis volunteers at Mount Pleasant Community Church in children ministry and for Vacation Bible School.


Nancy A. Bucholtz

Harbor Beach Community Schools

Harbor Beach Elementary

Nancy Bucholtz earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Oakland University, and then earned her masters degree from Saginaw Valley State University in Early Childhood Education. She had the opportunity to teach 2 years in the Utica Community Schools District before moving to Huron County, and she is now completing her 13th year at Harbor Beach Community Schools. During her teaching career she has taught the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, but 13 years of her career have been spent in the 4th grade. During her 15 years of teaching, she has been actively involved with many committees and initiative projects within her school district. Nancy received the honor of Walmart Teacher of the Year in 2007, and her students have been recognized by the state for their achievements on their standardized assessments. In addition to her professional accomplishments, her proudest accomplishments have come with being married to an amazing man for almost 13 years and having 3 wonderful children.


Brian Dufort

Shepherd Public Schools

Odyssey MS/HS

Brian is originally from Midland, MI and is a graduate of Northern Michigan University. He has spent his entire teaching career at Odyssey Middle/High School, an alternative education program in the Shepherd Public School system. In 2001, his environmental studies class was one of seven programs from the United States and Canada to be chosen as a winner of the Sea World/Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award. Brian is also the Northern Conference director of the Michigan Alternative Athletic Association, a sports program for alternative education programs across the state.


Kelly Dutcher

Harbor Springs Public Schools

Harbor Springs High School

Kelly Dutcher teaches Economics, Civics, U.S. History, and College Readiness at Harbor Springs High School. Aside from teaching, she is also a Michigan Youth in Government advisor, and class of 2017 sponsor.  Mrs. Dutcher is a graduate of Lake Superior State University where she received her BS in Social Studies and Secondary Education. She is currently working towards receiving her MA in American History and Government at Ashland University, and will spend a month this summer as a James Madison Memorial Fellow studying in Washington D.C.  Kelly loves teaching at the high school level, and helping bring social studies to life for her students. She shares her life with her husband Jordan and three joyful girls: Daphne, 5; Audrey, 3; Meredith 2.


Sally Erickson

Livonia Public Schools

Cooper Upper Elementary

Sally has taught grades 3-6, as well as special education. She has served as a district literacy leader for many years and participated in the Galileo Leadership Academy in 2001-03. She is proud to be a teacher.

Mark Estelle

Laker School District

Elementary School

Mark earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University with a major in mathematics and a minor in child development. In addition to teaching, Mark is an adviser of the elementary underwater robotics team as well as the recycling club. When not teaching fourth grade at Laker Elementary, Mark enjoys many hobbies that involve the outdoors and sports.

Jenn Fairweather

Oakridge Schools

Oakridge Upper Elementary

Jenn has been an ‘Eagle Proud’ Oakridge Schools employee for 16 years. She also includes Lansdowne Primary School in Tilbury, England in her list of teaching adventures.

A self-professed ‘grammar geek’ and SAG member, she hopes to complete her Master’s in TESOL and a Bachelor’s in Mortuary Sciences.

Denise Gallemore

Marysville Public Schools

Gardens Elementary School

Denise Gallemore has been teaching elementary school for 24 years. She earned her Masters of Teaching Degree from Wayne State University & her undergraduate from Central Michigan University. Denise has taught at every grade level but most of her career ( 15 years) has been spent in 5th grade. She has taught 5th Grade Social Studies to all sections at Gardens School, a state-recognized Beating The Odds School as well as a Michigan Reward School. As well as teaching, Denise serves as a School Improvement Chair, Leadership Team, & works hard at Community Service projects with her students. She was a finalist for the Community Foundation Educator Award.  Denise has been married for 29 years, has 2 grown married children & 1 adorable granddaughter.

Matt Hamilton

East Jordan Public Schools

East Jordan Middle School

Matt grew up in Cadillac, MI.  He holds a bachelor and masters degree from Michigan State University.  He currently teaches middle school History and Geography.  Matt started and advises a club at his school called the Shoe Club to inspire his students to Dream Big.  His wife and two daughters enjoy traveling and spending time in the outdoors.

Katie Hintz

Gladwin Public Schools

Gladwin High School

Katie is completing her seventh year as a teacher at Gladwin High School, where she has taught every Social Studies course available, including: American Government, Sociology, Current Events, World History, Economics, Social Problems in the United States, and Law. A graduate of Saginaw Valley State University’s Secondary Education Program, she majored in History, minored in Sociology and earned a Social Studies Endorsement. As Social Studies Department Chair, she was inspired to participate to the Open Book Project because of the disjointed resources that most economics teachers are forced to scrape together to create a captivating curriculum.

Currently, she is working on completing her Masters in Global History at with American Public University. Her final thesis on the Food Industry is due to be published September, 2015. Katie spends her time outside of the education world raising her two boys, Connor and Cole, with husband Adam Gradowski. As a family they enjoy exploring the outdoors and playing baskeball and volleyball together.

Whitney Holdwick

Harbor Beach Community Schools

Harbor Beach Middle School

Whitney Holdwick earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2010 from Central Michigan University with a focus in elementary education. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree. Holdwick has worked in the classroom for five years, teaching fifth and sixth graders. She is involved in many school committees and also spends her time coaching basketball. Apart from teaching, Holdwick enjoys spending her time with her family, which currently consists of a wonderful husband and adorable little boy.


Karyn Hutchinson

Sault Area Public Schools

Lincoln Elementary School

Karyn graduated summa cum laude from Lake Superior State University in 2003, where she received her bachelor degree in elementary education. She went on to earn her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lake Superior State University. This is Karyn’s 12th year teaching in Sault Ste. Marie. She has 5 children and lives on Sugar Island with her husband Tim and her children.


Dave Johnson

Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District/Northern Michigan Learning Consortium

Project Manager - MI OPEN BOOK


Dave began his career teaching 8th grade United States History in Mesick Michigan.  After almost a decade in the classroom he took a job at Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District as an Instructional Consultant for Social Studies.  He is shared across 11 ISDs in Northern Michigan which make up the Northern Michigan Learning Consortium.  It was here that he first began experimenting with the creation of digital text materials for classrooms in 2011.  This side project became one of his primary job responsibilities during the 2014-15 school year as he took charge of the TRIG Assessment and Curriculum Activity and launched the MI Open Book Project.  He lives in Cadillac Michigan with his wife Shannon (Also a teacher) and his twin daughters.

Maureen Klein

Allen Park Public Schools

Bennie Elementary

Following a successful career in the corporate world, Maureen returned to college in 2005 to pursue a Master of Arts in Education at Wayne State University. Like many career changers, Maureen realized that teaching was her true passion. Following graduation, Maureen immediately put her early childhood ZA endorsement to use as a kindergarten teacher in the Allen Park Public Schools, later moving to grade four. Maureen is active in both social studies and science endeavors throughout the state serving on the board of the Michigan Center for Civic Education and a former presenter at the Michigan Science Teacher Association Conference. She was named 2013 Jim and Annette McConnell Elementary History Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Council for History Education. In the winter of 2013 Maureen returned to Wayne State, but this time as an adjunct faculty member and university supervisor for pre-student teacher candidates. Maureen was recently recognized as the Bennie Elementary Teacher of the Year as well as her after-school program being named Program of the Year. Maureen and her husband Michael have three children, Ellie, Sarah and John. In their spare time, the Klein family enjoys travel and camping.

Denise Knapp

Wyandotte Public Schools

Washington Elementary

Teaching is a second career for me. I have been involved in many projects. Through the Michigan Economics Council I was a program presenter and a Crystal Apple recipient for Economics Education. I have been involved in Class A assessment writing and have participated in the new teacher training committee for writing. Currently teaching 5th grade, but have taught 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade as well. Masters in Education as an inclusion specialist. Married for 31 years, two adult children, and one granddaughter.

Kim Noga

Ionia Public Schools

Ionia High School

Kim has a B.A. in History/ Social Studies and an M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching, both from Michigan State University.  For the past 14 years she has been employed at Ionia High School where she teaches Economics, U.S. History, and Humanitarian Studies.  Her hobbies include reading and traveling the world.

Ann Pasino

Grosse Pointe Schools

Trombly Elementary

Ann is an educator for 21 years having taught grades first - sixth in numerous subject areas. Ann has a passion for teaching, especially teaching History. This passion has led to her being the K-12 Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator 2007-2009 for Grosse Pointe Public Schools. In addition to teaching, Ann is the Child Study Identification Coordinator for GPPS.  She is also a graduate of the Galileo Leadership Consortium while completing her Education Specialist in Leadership from Oakland University. Meanwhile, Ann has become an Adjunct Professor of History for Wayne County Community College.  In addition to being an educator, Ann’s passions are to spend as much time Up North with her family and to travel to recharge!

Sara Smith

Laker School District

Laker Elementary School

Sara is a fifth grade teacher at Laker Elementary.  She graduated from Laker High School in 2007 and from Saginaw Valley State University in 2011.  Sara is currently working on her Masters degree through SVSU.

She was hired by Lakers in February of 2012 and has been there ever since.  She runs several clubs for her school including recycling, dance, and underwater robotics.

Outside of school, Sara is involved with several activities.  She runs her own business and recently bought a house.  Sara spends a lot of her time working on her house and serving on different community boards.  In her spare time, you can find Sara reading, playing piano, or spending time on the beach!


David Soderquist

Three Rivers Public Schools

Three Rivers Middle School

For the Past 11 years David has taught 6-8 grade Social Studies for Three Rivers Middle School. He serves as Department Head, School Improvement Member and Social Studies Rep for his area. Over the past few years he has completed his Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and become a state recognized Instructional Coach.

Brian Weaver

Big Rapids Public Schools

Big Rapids High School

Mr. Weaver has been teaching high school social studies for fourteen years. After one year at New Directions Alternative High School in the Big Rapids Public Schools he moved to Big Rapids High School where he has taught US History & Geography, American Government, World History & Geography, Economics, Geography, Psychology, and Modern Social Problems. Before becoming a high school teacher, Mr. Weaver worked in higher education as a development officer and administrator. As Director of Development for Ferris State University he oversaw fund raising activities for Kendall College of Art and Design and served as Director of the Kendall Foundation. In ten years of service at Northern Michigan University he served in a variety of development posts including Director of Development Research and Director of Annual Giving. Mr. Weaver caught the teaching bug during his service in the Peace Corps on the central Philippines island of Leyte where he taught in a two-room school house. His many interests include reading, woodworking, and home improvement projects. Mr. Weaver is most proud of his family which includes his wife of twenty years, Lenore, and daughters Samantha and Gina Rose. Lenore currently serves as Big Rapids Middle School Principal and Director of Special Education for the Big Rapids Public Schools.

Susan Welch

Fenton Area Public Schools

State Road Elementary

Susan Welch currently teaches 4th grade at State Road Elementary in Fenton, Michigan.  She has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Central Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College with additional graduate work done at Arizona State University.  While at CMU, Susan traveled to Perth in Western Australia to study their use of integration to deliver instruction and meet the curriculum standards.  Upon graduation, she started her teaching career in Arizona teaching in the Casa Grande and Kyrene school districts.  During this time, Susan taught in a fully inclusive elementary classroom with students with many diverse learning needs including monolingual and bilingual Spanish speaking students, as well as various physical and mental challenges.  She also was able to learn about the many different Native American cultures represented within her schools.  Susan has taught both 3rd and 4th grade in the Fenton Area Public Schools for the past 11 years and also serves as Fenton’s Elementary Social Studies Department Chair.  In addition, she teaches Social Studies courses to other educators at the Genesee Intermediate School District.   Susan has been awarded the Walmart Teacher of the Year Award and has been a Michigan Teacher of the Year nominee.

Steve Zigray

Concord Community Schools

Concord Middle School

Steve Zigray is a 6th grade teacher.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Central Michigan University and a Masters Degree in K-12 Administration from Eastern Michigan University.  Honors Steve has been awarded are the 2001 Junior Achievement Educator of the Year and he was nominated for Jackson Magazine’s, Educator of the year in 2014.  He has also coached high school and middle school sports,  worked on various school improvement committees, wrote the 6th grade Common Assessment tests for Jackson County ISD and is an active member in the community as well as the PTO.  He lives in southeast Jackson County with his beautiful wife and three fantastic daughters.


Materials developed under a grant from the Michigan Department of Education