On February 14 Imlay City Schools had a district-wide staff day of professional learning focused on the mental health and well-being of our students and staff. There was an amazing attendance rate with staff from all departments; transportation, food service, teachers, paraprofessionals, central office staff, and even members of the Imlay City Schools Board of Education. The focus, Social and Emotional Learning, is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitude, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, establish and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, and establish and maintain positive relationships while making responsible decisions. These skills are critical to developing competencies that go beyond academic content and knowledge. They are skills every individual needs to succeed in college, careers, and general everyday life.

Through this event, Imlay City Schools was able to provide participants with workshop sessions ranging from topics such as human trafficking, personal mental health and well-being, empathy in the classroom, and understanding anxiety students may have in the school setting.

We would like to thank all of our presenters that helped make this event happen: Gloria Sherman, licensed professional counselor, parent educator and coach, and independent trainer; Lisa Madden, education consultant and owner of IN2 Yoga; Special Educator Coordinator Shawnna Calopisis, School Social Worker Jennifer Kortge, and School Psychologist Mindy Pellagata from the Consortium for Exceptional Children servicing Imlay City Schools; John Le, Imlay City High School Counselor; Tabitha Garon, Imlay City High School Counselor; Marianne Naas, Imlay City Middle School Counselor; Christina Tipton of REACH/Traverse Place; Lisa Goyette and John Ball, Celebrate Hope Co-Founders; and Jonathan Hart, MA, LPC, NCC.

This event would not have been possible without the support of the Lapeer County Community Foundation’s grant from the YAC division. Their extremely generous support, combined with dedicated funding from the district, provided the opportunity to create a truly momentous event which will impact every single Imlay City Schools student and staff member.

We feel extremely blessed to be part of such an amazing community which supports the efforts of local school districts.

—Dr. Dina Tallis,
Executive Director-Curriculum and Instruction for Imlay City Schools