The delivery of education near and far will be examined by Carolyn Wierda when she gives the 2014 Rush Lecture at Saginaw Valley State University Thursday, Oct. 9 at 4 p.m. in Founders Hall. An executive-in-residence and interim associate dean in the College of Education, Wierda’s talk is titled, “From Other Hemispheres to Our Home: National, State and Local K-12 Educational Trends.”
As co-director of SVSU’s Gerstacker Fellowship, a leadership development program for K-12 educators, Wierda has traveled to visit classrooms in China, Finland and elsewhere. This fall, she is leading a project that will bring 24 education students from China’s Shanghai Normal University – which prepares 85 percent of teachers for that city of 24 million – to campus. They will participate in a week-long exchange with SVSU education faculty, and will be paired with teachers from the Saginaw Township and Swan Valley school districts for field experience.
Prior to SVSU, Wierda enjoyed a distinguished career in K-12 education. Following five years as a classroom teacher in Ohio and Michigan, she served as an elementary school principal for a combined 11 years in Merrill and Saginaw Township schools before moving into other administrative roles.
After serving as an assistant superintendent for Saginaw Township and Bay City Public Schools, Wierda concluded her K-12 career as superintendent in Bay City, a post she held for five years. She currently serves as chair of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance’s education council and is one of three leaders for its STEM Impact Initiative.
Wierda completed a bachelor’s degree at Bucknell University, a master’s degree at Michigan State University, and additional graduate course work at SVSU.
The Rush Lectureship recognizes and rewards SVSU faculty and staff who, by their creation or development of significant scholarly or artistic work, have distinguished themselves and brought recognition to the University.
Thomas and Hilda Rush of Midland created the Rush Endowment as part of SVSU's Campaign for Distinction. Thomas Rush served on the Board of Control from 1991 to 2000. A retired orthopedic surgeon who served in several leadership roles as a physician in Midland, he also was a member of the SVSU Foundation Board of Directors.
Hilda Rush has had a long and distinguished career as a professional office and business manager in the health care field. She was a founding member of the Midland Practice Managers' Association and the Michigan Orthopaedic Group Management Association.