Where I’m from, where I’ve been, and where I’m going
By Jeff Gerlach
While the majority of this portfolio revolves around my past and ongoing ventures in education, this page offers a more personal glimpse at my life. I was born, raised, and continue to flourish in the great state of Michigan. I attended Pinckney High School in Pinckney, MI; I earned my bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI; and most recently earned my master’s degree in educational technology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. For the last four years I’ve had the honor of teaching and learning from great groups of young people in the Wayne-Westland School District. So much of who I am derives itself from the places I’ve lived and the places I’ve been.
As much as I love where I’m from, I love to travel as well. While attending GVSU I studied abroad in London, UK for a semester; living in the city itself for a total of nine months. While there, I was able to visit other spectacular European cities such as Paris, Brussels, Rome, Prague, Munich, Berlin, and Warsaw. Closer to home; my fiancée, Julie and myself have made a pact to visit all 50 states. We have many years to fill the map up, but we’re proud of our modest start.
Julie and I met at Grand Valley. Recently we got engaged on a trip to Chicago, our favorite big city to visit. Our wedding is set for summer ’13 so we are busily planning away at the moment. We’re especially excited to share our day with the many friends and family members that live out of state.
In setting our date, Julie had one condition; it needed to be out of hockey season 🙂 I love playing hockey but I’m much better at watching it. I play two to four nights a week depending on the time of the year (in the summer I have a lot more time for recreation!). I have had a life-long addiction to watching the Detroit Red Wings. I grew up following the team and had the great fortune of vicariously sharing in there success over the past 20 years.
Lastly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my mother and grandfather. Both have had long, successful, and impactful careers as educators; yet their greatest accomplishments have come as parents and community leaders. Being able to witness their selflessness first hand has played a major role in my choice of career, how I interact with people today, and my personal and professional ambitions for the future.