Alena Zachery-Ross is the Superintendent of Okemos Public Schools, hired just this year. She explains that Okemos Public Schools, while serving school of choice students, primarily focuses on serving the Okemos community. School of choice is a district optional program that allows students from one school district to chose another. This allows students and their families the option to choose what education they’re receiving, regardless of residency. “Our philosophy regarding school of choice is that there will be limited seating opportunities for non resident students,” Zachery-Ross said.
Susan Masten is passionate about irrigation systems.
Yes, really. The Meridian Township Environmental Commission board member says overwatering hurts the environment. “It drives me crazy when people irrigate when it’s raining outside,” Masten said. Mandating when people water their lawns isn’t necessarily something the Environmental Commission is looking to do in the future, but they are looking at potential fixes. “They’re coming out with irrigation systems that are wifi connected and can check the weather,” added Commissioner Kirk Lapham.
Mitten Raised (4661 Okemos Road) opened on May 19. Since then, Katie Anne Lambert and Leah Fabian have been baking to bring “world class, handcrafted, baked goods to the Mitten State,” as promoted in their website. Born out of Lambert’s love for baking and Fabian’s contributing work, Mitten Raised is said to have baked goods and an experience customers won’t forget. A world traveler, Lambert gained experience working in Vail, Colorado, with top pastry chefs. She also spent time in Maui working at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, located inside the Four Seasons resort in Wailea but something about Michigan brought her back.
The Nokomis Learning Center (5153 Marsh Road) is a Native American nonprofit organization in Meridian Township. It aims to educate people about Native American history and offer resources to Natives. The museum’s educational coordinator Victoria Voges has many roles at the Nokoimis Learning Center. She is the main presenter, curator of the gallery and runs the gift shop. “We are holding up the Great Lakes Indigenous history and the art and culture both past and present day of the contemporary times,” said Voges.
Meridian Township is celebrating its 175th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, a pictorial exhibit about the history of Meridian is traveling around the area. Communications Director Deborah Guthrie got the idea for the exhibit while she was traveling through Chicago. As she visited different museums in different areas, she saw a new way to view history. “I was trying to think about ways in which we can present the Meridian Township history by bringing it to where people go, bringing it around and exposing it in different areas and asking other people to celebrate with us by hosting the traveling pictorial,” said Guthrie.