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apprentice teacher helping student

Otsego is proud to be a partner district with Talent Together, a statewide initiative that helps Michiganders earn their teaching degree/certificate for free while earning an income! If you’ve ever thought about becoming a teacher, this just might be the program you need to get started!

Take a look through the Talent Together Slideshow shown at our community informational meeting with Otsego superintendent Jeff Haase. SLIDESHOW LINK

“We see this benefiting districts by providing another pipeline to the teaching field,” says Jeff Haase,  Otsego Public Schools Superintendent. “Talent Together removes barriers to the teaching profession by providing financial support, proximity to post-secondary education, guidance and support.”

Talent Together is a partnership between 48 Intermediate School Districts in Michigan, the Michigan Educator Workforce Initiative (MEWI) (a state non-profit dedicated to eliminating the educator shortage in Michigan) and nine Michigan colleges and universities. Those accepted into the program complete coursework at a school matched for them at no cost to them, and get on-the-job training while earning their degree as well as an income and benefits. 

“This is a great program for local districts as some of our future educators are working in our buildings,” says Haase. This program is geared toward individuals that may have a bachelor’s degree in something other than education and may be looking to change careers and/or are subbing in the district, paraprofessionals looking to become a certified teacher or an existing educator that would like to attain another certification. “Our building administrators see the great work these individuals are doing in our buildings but don’t have the correct certification to be a teacher of record.”

Brooke Galloway, OHS ‘17, was one of those candidates. She is Otsego’s first apprentice teacher through Talent Together. She earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from Central Michigan University. After a couple years of working, she started substitute teaching and decided that teaching was her passion. Through a friend, she found Talent Together and was able to apply and get connected back to Otsego. She was matched with Davenport University and takes classes online while co-teaching daily in Mrs. Beall’s kindergarten classroom at Dix Street Elementary for the 2023-24 school year. 

“I learn theory in my classroom as a college student, then I come to work every day and get to apply it which is really cool,” says Galloway. “It’s been really too good to be true. I get to come to work and do what I love - get to teach - get paid a livable wage to learn how to be a teacher in a way that is so less intimidating than a traditional student. I get a full year, beginning to end, and get to watch how students grow, build relationships and do all these things and then next year I’ll be so much better prepared.”

Apprentice teachers receive 80% of a starting teacher’s salary plus benefits. Talent Together reimburses the district for that cost. Talent Together teachers must commit to teaching in their host school or district for at least 5 years after earning their certification. 

Wonder if this program is right for you? Come learn more at our Talent Together Informational Session. “I hope we have a packed house on October 18th as there is a tremendous need to fill the teacher shortage in Michigan. Talent Together is taking applications soon for the 2024 cohort, so this would be a great opportunity to learn more,” Haase says. The first step is to submit an interest form. You can find that and much more information on their website at

You can hear more about Brooke Galloway's journey here.

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