Skip to main content Skip to footer

April 23, 2024

SVSU recognizes stand-out educators

Group of men and women standing shoulder to shoulder

In a continuing commitment to support K-12 education and educators, Saginaw Valley State University honored six education professionals for their outstanding performance and commitment to students. Hosted by SVSU’s College of Education, the Heroes in Education dinner and award ceremony was held Thursday, April 18 at SVSU.

James Tarr, dean of SVSU’s College of Education, said more than 50 nominations were submitted. Selection of the winners was based on four criteria:

  • Impact — What impact does the nominee make on students’ lives, the school, school district, community and/or teaching profession?
  • Inspiration — How does the nominee inspire others?
  • Innovation — How does the nominee innovate in their work or in the profession?
  • Involvement — How is the nominee involved in their school, district, community, the profession?

“I am proud of this year’s recipients of the Heroes in Education Award,” said James Tarr, dean of SVSU’s College of Education. “Teachers, principals and support staff invest emotionally and tirelessly in their students’ success, celebrating their achievements and supporting them through struggles, embodying the essence of dedication and influence in their communities. In short, they inspire hope and resilience, building the foundation for future generations to thrive.”

Winners of the 2024 Heroes in Education Award are:

Rob Baker, Frankenmuth High School

Baker has worked at Frankenmuth High School for 22 years and currently teaches conceptual physics, AP physics I, calculus, engineering and drone aviation. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, he served in the U.S. Navy as an E-2C pilot and had deployments on the U.S.S. Saratoga and U.S.S. America. After his military service, he worked at Dow in Midland as an electrical engineer, production engineer and R&D engineer. Rob earned both his teacher certification and a Master of Arts in Teaching at SVSU.

Greg Crider, Midland County Educational Service Agency

Crider began his career as a social studies teacher in San Diego, California. Upon relocating to Midland, joined the Midland County Educational Service agency as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional for students with significant behavioral disorders. These experiences inspired Crider to continue his education at SVSU, where he earned a special education endorsement in learning disorders, a Master of Arts in Teaching in learning and behavioral disorders and supervisor approval. Crider currently serves as the director of special education with the Midland County Educational Service Agency.

Erin Martin, Bullock Creek High School 

Martin has taught physics and AP calculus at Bullock Creek High School for 25 years. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics with a minor in mathematics education and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in natural science-secondary education from SVSU. Throughout her career, Martin has been awarded over $25,000 in grants for technology and equipment such as a 3D printer, video monitors for the hallway, and solar panels for the high school. She and students in her honors physics class established the school’s first recycling program in 2023.

Jennifer Moeller, Hemmeter Elementary School

Moeller joined Saginaw Township Community Schools after earning her Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from SVSU, where she later pursued a Master of Arts in Teaching in early childhood education. Moeller has received Saginaw Township’s Benevolent Leader of Creativity and Knowledge award. She recently was awarded funding for a “story walk” at Hemmeter Elementary School. 

Sarah Schomaker, Bangor West Elementary

Schomaker was recently appointed principal of Bangor West Elementary, providing her an opportunity to work alongside staff and support all grade levels. Prior to assuming the role of principal, Schomaker spent 11 years teaching second and third grades. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SVSU and recently earned her master’s degree in literacy education.

Crystal Stomack, Croswell-Lexington High School

Stomack teaches art and ceramics at Croswell-Lexington High School and serves as the student council advisor and electives chairperson. Stomack began her teaching career in Arizona, where she taught art and ceramics for 10 years before returning to Michigan to teach at Croswell-Lexinton. She earned a B.A. in secondary visual arts education from SVSU and holds a Master of Arts in e-learning from Northcentral University and an M.A. in art education from the Art of Education University.