Mattawan Public Education Foundation was created to supplement the school funding gap, ensuring that our students and staff have the best possible learning environment. When you donate to MPEF, you help a teacher aim higher and a student achieve more. MPEF is proud to support teachers like Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Fulton with Brain Strong grants.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am married to Spencer. We met in college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. We have three children – Paige, age 13 and in 7th grade, Spencer, age 11 and in 6th grade, and Connor, age 7 and in 2nd grade.
How are you connected to Mattawan Consolidated Schools?
We relocated to Michigan from New Jersey in the summer of 2015. We have moved extensively and a primary factor in choosing where we live is always the educational options. We researched both public and private schools and spoke with several of my husband’s colleagues and others with children in elementary, middle and high schools. Mattawan schools were most often mentioned at the top of the list.
This year marks our fourth year in the district and we have been incredibly pleased with the quality of education, dynamic teachers, community spirit, and vision for the schools’ future.
What brought you to MPEF?
I would like to be a part of carrying out the vision for the future and think MPEF offers me the best opportunity. While we have supported a few of the MPEF events in the past, it wasn’t until recently that I truly understood the important work of the foundation. MPEF provides necessary funds to help bridge the gap between the funding the school receives from the state government to educate each student and what it truly costs. The difference is staggering and points to a great need that is mostly unrecognized among school families. I hope to be a part of educating our school families and the wider Mattawan community about ways they can help support MCS today and in the future.
Real life outside of MPEF?
I spend most of my time shuttling our three children from one thing to the next, and am most grateful for that opportunity! I am also the Director of Special Projects for a small marketing, advancement, and strategic thinking consultancy. The firm specializes in linking private schools, families, and communities. I recently switched to this role to allow for more time with my family and to volunteer to a greater degree in the community. In addition to MPEF, I am involved with various MLEAP and MMSPA activities and events. I also volunteer weekly with Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo tutoring students in the fifth grade.
What inspires you about MPEF and Mattawan Consolidated Schools?
I have heard teachers discuss the value of the Brain Strong awards in their classroom and the benefit to their students. I am inspired by the idea that increased fundraising would allow MPEF to fund more awards which will in turn influence the way teachers deliver an education and Mattawan students experience learning.
Do you have an educational memory that has stuck with you through the years?
As a sophomore in high school, our class visited New York City. We spent four days seeing the historic sights, visiting museums, and attending a variety of shows. The experience gave me a deep appreciation for our country’s history and the arts.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm married to, Josh, and I have 3 children. Eliana is an 8th grader, Gavin is 5th grader, and Ian a 2nd grader.
How are you connected to Mattawan Consolidated Schools:
I joined MPEF to become an active participant in the education Mattawan provides. I have been able to work with the school through STEAM activities in the EES, LES, and HS to bring students some real life experiences of engineering.
What brought you to MPEF:
My family entered the Wildcat Track and Trail 5K six years ago and that is when I asked “What is MPEF?”. I come from a family of educators and not being a teacher myself, I want to be a part of public education. I greatly enjoy understanding the goals and struggles of our district’s educators and believe MPEF plays an important role to ensure the education at Mattawan is enhanced.
Real life outside of MPEF:
I am a Project Manger and Mechanical Engineer at TowerPinkster. I graduated with degrees from Hope College, University of Michigan, and Oakland University. I am passionate about the sciences and getting more women in fields of math and engineering. Also, my husband and I enjoy watching our kids in all of their activities!
What inspires you about MPEF and Mattawan Consolidated Schools:
I want to keep the community involved in our public education system and I think MPEF is a resource to keep working hand in hand. MPEF recognizes the needs of education beyond state and federal funding and works diligently to draw financial resources for MCS teachers and administrators so that they keep Mattawan a district in which students not only succeed but they become true leaders for our future.
Mattawan is a sought-after educational district and the school is what this community is built around. I love to see parents, grandparents, and past students involved in our education here!
Do you have a education memory that has stuck with you through the years?
In third grade my teacher, Mrs. Riggs, encouraged a lot of reading and for each book you read you filled out a paper “Yoda” that stated your book, number of pages, etc. At the end of the year she had an auction for all the students and our “money” was the amount of Yoda’s you’d accumulated through the year. I remember the most desired items at the auction were Michael Jackson folders and posters. I used most of my Yodas to “buy” a Michael Jackson poster! That poster hung in my bedroom for many years!