University of the Pacific

Summer Virtual Conference – Michigan (formerly Lansing)

PDSI  9968 – Creating a Caring Learning Environment in the Classroom

3 Credits Available

Register Now:

Individual Registration:
3 Credits

Group Registration (three or more from same school):
3 Credits

Conference Only (no credits)


Course Information

Date: June 15 – 19, 2020
Time: 8AM – 4PM, 4 – 6PM Wellness Options Daily
Zoom Interactive Live Stream or recorded “On-Demand”
Credits Available: 3

Summer Institutes presents:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our five-day Michigan conferences will be held entirely online (using Zoom, Interactive Live Stream ) this year.  In the event of a personal scheduling conflict, all live presentations, PLC’s and relationship building activities will also be recorded for “On-Demand” viewing.

This rejuvenating conference includes everything you’ve grown to expect from SI and more.

  • Replenish, Rejuvenate & Remember Why You Teach
  • Trauma Informed Strategies
  • Relational Equity Training
  • PLC Collaboration Components, including Teacher Empathy
  • From STEM to STEAM: Place-Based Education Trips
  • Innovative Technology
  • Relevant Standards-Based Presentations
  • Important Wellness Activities
Lansing, Michigan

Course Information

  • 3 Semester University of the Pacific Graduate Level Credits
  • Three-credit class is a forty-five hour week (3 semester units = 4.5 quarter credits).
  • University of the Pacific (non-profit/WASC approved)
  • Save money with Early Bird registration and Group Rates! (3 or more from the same school)

Additional Links & Materials

The Summer Institutes Difference

Attending a Summer Institutes Conference provides more than just a way to earn additional teaching certification credits, opportunities to earn salary advancement credits, or obtaining professional clock hours. We want to be your partner throughout your continuing education journey. Whether it’s listening to one of our engaging presenters, attending a PBE (Place Based Education) workshop, sharing peer expertise in PLC’s, or participating in a wellness activity or stress reduction class,  we’re committed to providing you with the maximum return on your investment. You’ll leave our conferences feeling refreshed, replenished, and rejuvenated. Bottom line: we care about you!

“In my 25 years of evaluating educator conferences, nobody does it as well as Summer Institutes.”
Dr. Rich McBridge, Superintendent – 2014 National President AESA

Salary Advancement Credits Teaching Certification Credits Wellness Options Stress Reduction Place-Based Education

What Makes Summer Institutes Unique?

Featured Presenter:

Tim Wood, Grand Valley State University,
Responsibility Model

Additional Presenters:


Derrick Veale

Derrick Veale is managing St John’s Community School’s online learning. He is an expert in teaching computer courses to educators, students and community members. For over 18 years, Derrick has taught RESA and Summer Institute technology courses along with numerous professional development sessions at various schools and levels. When he’s not teaching, he likes to spend time with his wife and two daughters and go to live concerts.
Participants will learn:
* Using “short cut” applications to improve teaching productivity
* Google Classroom
* Summer Institutes Course Participant’s Technology Advisor

Therapy Dogs in the Classroom”  Shelby, Our New Hero, Barb (Jeannie) Hanson, Teacher and Jason Zeller, Principal, Lockwood Elementary, Barbara Jean (Jeannie) Hanson earned her BFA in Art Education from Michigan State University and her MAT from Olivet College. Jeannie has been teaching K-12 art for over 25 years, mostly at the elementary level. A long time fan of both the arts and nature, Jeannie has owned several pets including currently, three Collie dogs. Her oldest Collie, Shelby, has been involved with work at school and is an AKC certified therapy dog. Jeannie garnered a love for this breed long ago as a girl when she owned two other Collies. In her spare time, Jeannie paints her own art professionally and she and Shelby travel to libraries, MSU, memory care and retirement communities..and of course, her own classrooms in the Eaton Rapids Public Schools.  She splits her time teaching at two schools, Lockwood Elementary and Greyhound Central. Mr. Jason Zeller is her Principal at Lockwood and also owns a therapy dog named Jazz, who is retiring this year and has been featured in the news. Jeannie believes that the presence of these wonderful therapy dogs has been a boon to the educational focus and comfort for many students and staff alike.

“Be the Change” Jackson Kaguri, Built an Orphanage in Uganda, 2015 Waisalitz Global Citizen Award, Time Magazine, CNN featured, addressed UN Author: Victory for My Village, A School for My Village. 

“Developing Yourself Outside of Teaching” Mitch Letzke, Williamston High School, A native of Albion, Michigan, Mitch is a graduate of Albion Senior High School and holds BA in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and a history/teacher education BA from Western Illinois University. While in high school, he worked in radio for two years as a disc jockey, reporter and sportscaster. After MSU he worked in radio for six years, where he won news reporting awards, before returning to school to earn a teaching certificate. In the classroom his work has seen him honored with a DAR History teaching Award and the State of Michigan Library Odyssey Award. In the field of coaching, Mitch was inducted into the MITCA Track and Field coaches Hall of Fame in 2020, has been a state of Michigan Track and Field Boys Coach of the Year selection by MHSCA, a two time Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year by MITCA and the winner of Mid-Michigan’s Eddy Award for track and field coaching. The Williamston Chamber of Commerce recently award Mitch the Hometown Hero Award for his community work. He is also the current Vice-President of the Williamston Depot Museum, has authored three books, including a 2019 Michigan Notable Book Award about the championship Page Fence Giants black baseball team and coached his wife in the 1988 Olympic Track and Field trails. He lives in Williamston with his wife and together they raised three children.  He teachers United States history, Sociology and TV Broadcasting at Williamston High School.

On Monday, June 15th, Teachers will choose TWO of the following presentations:

  • “Big Lessons” Margaret Holtschlag, Director/ Founder of the BIG LESSON.
  • Mindfulness” Heather Lewis, Discovery Elementary.
  • “Trauma Informed Classroom” Jennifer Harper, Discovery Elementary. Jennifer Harper, LMSW, has over 20 years of experience as a Licensed Master of Social Work. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Adrian College and her master’s at Wayne State University. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Jennifer has worked extensively in the school setting as well as private practice. She is pursuing certification in trauma from MSU. Jennifer enjoys working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. Her areas of specialty include anxiety, depression, family of origin issues, trauma, and childhood dysregulation difficulties. She uses several types of therapy in her practice including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), elements of play therapy, and strength-based therapy.When Jennifer isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 children, and dog, Jake. She loves to camp, play games, spend time with friends and family, and complete home improvement projects.
  • “Let’s Go Outside – Connecting Classroom to Nature” Becky Durling, Discovery Elementary.

Dave Brigham, Michigan State University, PBE – GPS Treasure Hunt at Wooded Site

Site Coordinator: Dick Comar

Dick Comar

Dick Comar

Livonia and Okemos, MI

Dick Comar will be facilitating the Lansing SI Conference.

Dick will be covering the follow topics during the summit:

  •     Relationship building based on care, hope & trust
  •     Mindfulness practices to decrease stress
  •     Social & Emotional Wellness
  •     Subject/Grade level PLC Facilitator
  •     Place Based Education
  •     Wellness Education

Conference Fees & Registration

Take advantage of Early Bird prices through May 15, 2020! Space is limited, reserve your seat today!

View the conference rates and available options below. Select the option that works for you and add to cart to continue registration.

Refund Policy: There will be a $100 non refundable deposit and no refunds after June 1st. However, class fees are automatically refunded in full when: the class or workshop is full, the activity is canceled, or SI rejects the enrollment application.  If you drop a class before June 1, your class fee is automatically refunded, less the $100 non refundable deposit. If you drop a class after June 1, no refund will be given.

Class Changes and Cancellations: A class will be closed when it reaches maximum enrollment, so register early. Classes with insufficient enrollment will be canceled, and those registered will be notified of the cancellation by email or phone. To make contacting you easier, provide an email and phone number with your registration.  Refunds will be processed automatically for classes canceled by SI.

SI reserves the right to cancel any class. Class locations, dates, times and instructors are subject to change without notice.



DUE TO COVID-19, EARLY BIRD PRICING HAS BEEN EXTENDED!  – Register before May 15th and and save $90.00 – $110.00!

The STEAM Education Movement in Schools

STEAM education is gaining popularity in schools across the country. Learn how students are benefitting from educators who have begun adopting this framework.

From STEM…

“Hard at work at Summer Institutes.”
Film provided by Alex Kajitani, California Teacher of the Year and nationally known as “The Rappin’ Mathematician” http://alexkajitani.com


“Taking STEM to the next level with STEAM learning opportunities and activities.”
Film provided by Art Teacher Cassidee Dermond, https://cassideesartgallery.weebly.com.

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