Happy New Year!

Each year, the month of January represents new possibilities and hope for the future. Here at Tecumseh Public Schools, we are harnessing that hope to improve the learning experience for each and every child and family we serve.

Your child will be entering a new era in education and will experience the efforts of over one year of planning and preparation when they enter our 7th Grade STEAM Center at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year! This Center, formerly known as Patterson School, will be transformed into an environment that is learner-centered; designed with input from our students and organized in a way to allow each learner the opportunity to identify his or her own learning path.

Our 7th Grade STEAM Center will be a project-based learning environment, where learners will incorporate content areas within the context of real-world issues. Students will be engaged in interdisciplinary units that help them to understand the “bigger story” of the future they face. They will spend two years in this Center with the same educators. Students will have the opportunity to master content standards at their pace and will be met at their individual level to ensure they are moving forward academically.

I would like to introduce the staff members who will be working with you and your child beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Ms. Deidra Thelen will serve as the principal for the 7th Grade STEAM Center. Currently, Ms. Thelen is the Principal of Patterson Elementary, a role she has served in for two years. Prior to this, she worked with Clinton Community Schools for ten years as a High School Mathematics Teacher and then Middle School Principal. During her time as a teacher, Ms. Thelen also coached seventh grade volleyball for five years and spent a year as an Adjunct Professor at Adrian College teaching Mathematics. Ms. Thelen earned her undergraduate degree at Western Michigan University in Mathematics Education and her Master’s Degree from Michigan State University in K-12 Administration.

In addition to Ms. Thelen, the following educators will also be working with your child:

Mrs. Jan Garner--Mathematics

Mrs. Jeanne Bauman--English

Mr. Scott McCarley--Social Studies

Mrs. Chelsey Anastasoff--Science

Mrs. Jennifer Collins--Mathematics/English

Mr. David Gibson--Social Studies/Science

Mrs. Dee Wagoner--Social Studies/English

Mr. Brian McDowell--Science/Mathematics

Mrs. Kimberly Schmidt--Student Supports/Special Education

Mr. Paul Keyser--Student Supports/Special Education


Mrs. Mary Tommelein--Counselor

Please know that these educators were hand-selected to work in this project-based learning environment with your child. These educators are so excited to lead the way in transforming education for our learners. Your child will also have the opportunity to select courses such as choir, band, orchestra, physical education, etc. We are still working out the details in this area and will share additional information as decisions are made. 

If you have any questions, please let us know! You can reach me at the contact information below. You can also contact  Ms. Thelen via email at or via telephone at 517.423.3331. This is such an exciting time for our district, and we are thrilled that you and your child will be part of this wonderful educational experience!


Kelly M. Coffin, Ed. D.

Superintendent, Tecumseh Public Schools