Keeping staff informed about GISD through news and views!

December 5, 2014

Student Holiday Art on Display

GISD recently held its annual holiday message contest, and selected a winning design from lots of great student entries. New this year, all designs will soon be featured in a display at the Erwin L. Davis Education Center. A must see if you work there, or are visiting the building around the holidays. Watch your email for the holiday message from the GISD Board of Education coming next week!

Superintendent's Message

Since most of us can remember, we have heard the term "values" in relation to things in life that are important to us as humans. There are individual or personal values, family values, and hopefully recognizable organizational values. If someone were to ask, "What do you value?" you would likely list several words that immediately come to mind.

Often times it is easy for us as individuals to know our own personal values, but rarely do we discuss or articulate these words when talking about our work. In our organization, the values that drive GISD are important to all of us. The alignment of your personal values and the organizational values is what creates that "good fit" or feeling of satisfaction when you are at work. These values drive commitment and the desire to perform responsibilities well. For example, the desire to serve others – students, colleagues, agencies, babies, local districts, teachers, parents, grandparents, etc. – is a critical value we share at GISD. Our staff is composed of individuals who believe in hard work, going above and beyond, honesty, compassion, and respect.

As we enjoy this holiday season, I want to thank you for the front line and behind the scenes work you all give to help others be successful. Our shared values of leadership, service, and innovation separate us from average or mediocre. There is not a day that passes that lives are not improved because of the staff at GISD. During the holidays, it is a time to reflect on values and sometimes even experience heightened emotions. I hope we all can celebrate the wonderful organization that we share, as well as appreciate the people we work with side by side to support the shared values which help make Genesee County a better place to live and raise a family.

Improvement and Learning Opportunities for Staff

Continuous Improvement never ends, and the Navigators Service Crew has been working to create opportunities for both new and experienced staff members at GISD. This is what the crew has been up to:

  1. Piloting site/job specific Onboarding – a phased in conversation and training with new staff that focuses solely on the building, needed processes, and performance responsibilities. It has been piloted at various buildings with new staff and is currently being molded to fit our unique programs.
  2. Creating unlimited opportunities for personal growth and improvement for current staff by gathering and determining offerings that will help staff strengthen skills for their job performance or allow them to select opportunities to learn something new for their own interest.
  3. Creating common definitions that involves developing a shared vision and understanding of "exceptional customer service" and "quality programs" – an effort that has yielded valuable conversation and benefits for the group and its goals.

As the Service Crew strives to improve the district’s service to GISD employees and external customers, we welcome any input or ideas you’d be willing to share. You can do so by contacting any of the following committee members: Jim Ply, Jeanne Quinlan, Sui-Lin Harper, Keely Mounger, Therese McGuire, Rose Marie Benford, Deb Marien, Luke Wittum, Dave Burt, Cindy McCain, Evilia Jankowski, Michelle Benson, Scott Hartman, Margaret Green, Karl Lang, Jeff Adams, Catrina Wiskur, Val LaCarter, Jeff Morgan, and Lisa Hagel.

Students Enjoy Game Night

The Saginaw Intermediate School District recently hosted a game night for students with visual impairments, in cooperation with schools in Saginaw, Genesee, Bay, and Midland counties. The students played games played by their sighted peers, with adaptations so that they could read the directions and play the games without sight. Games included Tic-Tac-Toe, Hi-Ho Cherry-O, and Trouble. As the photo shows, students also had a chance to taste test new Lay's potato chip flavors, such as Maple Bacon and Dill Pickle, which helped them to learn hygienic food handling skills and taste discrimination.

This was a great opportunity for several Genesee County students with visual impairments to learn to play games that they will now be able to enjoy with their families and friends, and to meet other students with visual impairments from nearby areas.

Staff Give Back

Recently, Technology and Media Services (TMS) staff and their family members volunteered their time at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. TMS staffer Dorothy Cooper reported that it was a great experience and it served as an example of how they were able to show their ability to work as a team. She also reported that while they are not sure how many pounds of food they sorted, just knowing they were able to help a great cause is rewarding in itself.

New Program for High School Students

The Genesee Career Institute (GCI) is offering high school juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to attend class at a professional workplace to learn not only risk management and insurance, but also important employability skills.

If you know of a high school student that would be interested in this program, have them see their high school counselor right away. Scheduling for the 2015-2016 school year is already underway! Find more details about GCI's Risk Management and Insurance Program here.

Distinguished Scholar

GISD extends its congratulations to Justin Bailey! Justin is receiving the UM-Flint Maize and Blue Distinguished Scholar Award when he graduates from the University of Michigan-Flint on December 14. He is a 2011 graduate of GISD's Genesee Early College.

InnerViews Submission Guidelines

As a result of the new style of InnerViews, there are revised submission guidelines that you may find helpful. They include:

  • Keep all article submissions brief -- 100 words maximum
  • Send all image submissions in JPG format
  • Submit all articles and images to
  • Be sure to include your contact information

If you have questions, or need assistance with your submission, please contact Eileen Jackson at 591-4425 or by email at

Genesee Intermediate School District

GISD is proud to be an NCA AdvancED accredited intermediate school district. Serving students, parents, educators, and the greater Genesee County community!