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Jeremey M. Whan
Bemis Elementary School
Troy School District
Troy, Michigan

When Jeremey Whan came to Bemis Elementary in 2010, he had an accomplished record with ten years of experience as a principal and seven years as a teacher. As the principal of Bemis, a school with 580 students who speak twenty-eight different languages, Whan earned the title of Outstanding Practicing Principal by the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association last year. With his commitment to shared leadership and innovative strategies, he has been able to create a forward-thinking culture where every student thrives. Whan is a natural mentor and provides job-embedded professional development and shared decision-making opportunities for all teachers. With his "fail-forward" attitude, neither teachers nor students are afraid to take risks. Recently, he collaborated with Ron Ritchhart of Harvard's Project Zero to implement a "Culture of Thinking" that promotes 21st century skills including self-reflection and a deeper level of reasoning. Students use Visible Thinking routines, digital learning tools, and other technologies, often learning in a workshop environment. Whan has also made sure that every teacher is equipped with an iPad and Smartboard to keep students engaged. Bemis was given a National Blue Ribbon Award in 2014 and has been a "Reward School" in the state of Michigan for the past three years. Whan holds a B.A. from Alma College, an M.A. in Administration from Wayne State University, and continuing credits from multiple universities.