Community Conversations Around Education

Classroom setting

Appetizers, Answers, and Potential Avenues

Do you wonder what your next step might be in education, or worry about where the region might find qualified teachers, school counselors, principals and superintendents that are desperately needed?  We must and want to engage local educators in that conversation.  Join local educational leaders and GVSU faculty and staff from the Educational Leadership and Counseling Department for an evening of light appetizers, drinks, and conversation with colleagues interested in supporting the future of education in Northern Michigan.  You may discover that you are a key part of the solution.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Remarks at 5:00 p.m.

Light appetizers, soft drinks, and first drink are complimentary for this free event.  RSVP above and bring a colleague.  Cash bar following.

Left Foot Charley's Barrel Room
806 Red Drive, Ste 100
Traverse City, MI  49684


Guest Speakers

Nicholas E. Ceglarek, Ed.D.

Nicholas E. Ceglarek, Ed.D.

Dr. Nicholas Ceglarek earned his Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education in 1996.

Upon graduation, he began his career at Rockford Public Schools.  He graduated from Grand Valley State University with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and later received his Doctor of Education degree from Eastern Michigan University.  In 1999, Dr. Ceglarek was selected as an assistant principal and appointed Director of District Assessment and Student Testing.  In 2002, he began serving communities as the superintendent of Baldwin Community Schools, Fruitport Community Schools, and Hudsonville Public Schools.  During that time, Dr. Ceglarek was presented with the Grand Valley State University College of Arts and Science Distinguished Alumni Award, West Michigan Public Relations Society of America 2015 Communicator of the Year and was inducted in the Allendale Hall of Fame.  While serving as the superintendent for Northwest Education Services, Grand Valley State University presented Dr. Ceglarek with the Distinguished Alumni Award in October 2021. 

Dr. Ceglarek resides in Traverse City with his wife Darcy and has two sons, Colson and Zane.

Cathy Meyer-Looze, Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership and Counseling at GVSU

Cathy Meyer-Looze, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy Meyer-Looze is the Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership and Counseling program at Grand Valley State University.  She teaches courses in both the Master’s and Specialist degree programs.  Dr. Meyer-Looze has been an administrator of all levels in K-12 public education including serving as a Professional Development Director.  She has a passion for understanding students today and how they learn in order to help them best prepare for the world they will live in tomorrow.  She is also a strong advocate for distributing the leadership to empower all learners.

Wanting to grow her wings in community services and leadership, she is a proud graduate of both Leadership Grand Traverse in Traverse City, Michigan and Leadership Little Traverse in Petoskey, Michigan.  Cathy is married to Kelly Looze, and they happily follow their active daughter, Tacey, in all of her academic and athletic pursuits.

Jessie Houghton serves as the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) as the Lead Principal at Central High School and K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Director

Jessie Houghton, Ed.S.

Ms. Jessie Houghton earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Secondary Education from Hillsdale College.  She has gone on to complete a Master of Arts in Educational Technology from Michigan State and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan.  This past December, she completed an Educational Specialist Degree from Grand Valley.

Currently, Jessie is serving the Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) as the Lead Principal at Central High School and K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Director.  Jessie has also served TCAPS as a mathematics teacher, coach, mentor/advisor, Assistant Principal, and Elementary Principal.  Jessie has also worked with Northwestern Michigan College, The College Board, Northwest Education Services, and MASSP.  Jessie has earned the honor of Regional Outstanding Educator, 40 under 40 for Traverse City, Influential Women of Northern Michigan, and Ironman Finisher.

She lives in Traverse City with her husband, Eric, and two teenage daughters.  


Curriculum Opportunities Available in Traverse City


The Educational Leadership and Counseling Department houses the Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) and four Masters of Education (M.Ed.) programs:

  • Educational Leadership
  • Higher Education
  • School Counseling
  • Special Education Administration

Candidates graduating from these GVSU programs will be prepared to lead in administrative and leadership roles in K-12 and/or higher education environments.

More on these exciting degree programs

If you want to transition your career into teaching, consider the Graduate Teacher Certification (GTC) program. This intensive, one-year, full-time teacher training program is designed for adults who:

  • hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college
  • are willing to acquire a "teachable" major (if required) prior to joining the program
  • and meet additional entrance requirements.

The program combines teacher education course work with two consecutive semesters of field placement in a local school.  At the completion of the program, students will have earned a teaching certificate as well as graduate credit toward a master's degree.  The full master's degree can be completed following certification.  All prospective candidates are advised to attend an information session for more detailed explanations.

More on the GTC Program


Page last modified August 17, 2023