Dr. Zain Shamoon completed his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in Fall 2017 at Michigan State University. He also completed a Master’s degree in Couple and Family therapy in 2011. In all of his work, Dr. Shamoon is dedicated to the creation of spaces where people can tell their personal stories on route to their own growth and wellness. In his clinical work, he has served those experiencing high anxiety (and many times suicidal ideation), in helping them find safety and relief. He has also worked with those who are pervasively depressed, as well as with struggling families and couples. In March 2015, he helped launch the Narratives of Pain project, which is a community-event and emotional outlet of narrative catharsis based in Metro Detroit. Currently, Zain is a practicing Couple and Family therapist in Southeast Michigan. He also an accomplished local performance artist.
Dr. Benjamin Edmondson is a native of New Jersey but has resided in Michigan since 1999. He graduated from The University of Virginia with a B.A. in Sociology, The Ohio State University with a M.Ed. in Educational Theory and Practice, and Eastern Michigan University with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. He was awarded an Outstanding Dissertation for his research on the dismantling, historical academic achievement gap between Caucasian and African American students.
He has given over 25 years to public schools as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. He believes in public education and works tirelessly to improve and guarantee positive student and family outcomes. Dr. Edmondson serves as the Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) and is honored to work with diligent, passionate, loving staff members who believe in an attempt to be the “first, high performing urban school district.”
His efforts to rebrand the District are evidenced throughout YCS and resonate throughout the surrounding community. YCS financials have improved significantly and debts reduced. Enrollment has increased for 3 straight years. Student academic growth has exceeded the State expectations. Student opportunities inside and outside of the school walls are evident and have expanded since YCS’s formation. Business and community investments have been restored and just as important, YCS successfully passed its Operating Millage. These are just a few indicators of the resurgence of Ypsilanti Community Schools.
Professionally, he considers himself to be a humorous, energetic, and passionate change agent. He is known for his ability to assess an organization and infuse a new direction; he is direct and honest about issues that are difficult to address in the educational setting; he openly addresses and challenges the status quo with intensity and humility; and he works incessantly to create climates that deliver confident, contributing, honest students.
He hopes that his most recognized accomplishment in his life is that of being an extraordinary father to his two sons, Pierce and Harris.
Molly Peterson is an enthusiastic educator who has been with EMU Bright Futures at Wayne Memorial High School since 2011. She is a passionate educator who has developed a rich culture of inclusion and support for her students. Molly is an accomplished facilitator for professional development in positive youth development (she is a Youth Program Quality Intervention trainer) and Social Emotional Learning. Molly is a certified teacher in English and Sociology having attended the University of Michigan for both her undergraduate degree (Social Anthropology) and graduate degree (Education).
As a site coordinator, Molly’s passion for her work and commitment to her students can be witnessed daily. She shares her skills, enthusiasm and compassion with staff and students honoring youth voice, diversity, social justice, and inclusion. She is excited to facilitate clubs that are of high interest to kids…creative writing, fashion, real talk, and anthropology, to mention a few.
Dr. Andraé Townsel was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Andraé attended Howard University on a football scholarship. As a three-time graduate of Howard University, Andraé became the recipient of the Floretta Dukes McKenzie scholarship to attend the Urban Superintendents Academy of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA). Dr. Townsel is committed to Social Emotional Learning and education reform.
In 2016, as a member and graduate of the first National Certification Cohort, Andraé was appointed principal of Southbridge High School in Massachusetts, one of the lowest-performing high schools in the state. He successfully lead Southbridge’s turnaround. Dr. Townsel now serves as the new Assistant Superintendent for Climate, Culture, and Social Emotional Learning in the Wayne-Westland Community School District in Metro Detroit, Michigan.
Tréa Manson graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Accounting. Although this drives her professional life, her true passions are community, spiritual and emotional growth, hiking the National Parks and biking. Tréa is also an aspiring writer who hopes to write a book about overcoming her traumatic childhood and troubled youth. You can find her blog and special projects on her newly launched website at treamanson.com.