Michael Posthumus
Graduate Class: 2009
Degree(s): B.S. Biology, Grand Valley State University
M.A. Education Administration, Northern Michigan University
Current Profession: Vice President of Education and Programming at Grand Rapids Public Museum

Path to the Graduate Program of Teton Science Schools:

In 6th grade, Michael Posthumus went to school at Blandford Nature Center in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It wasn’t until later that he realized how deeply his year at Blandford had impacted him, scrapped his path toward dentistry, and decided to move toward the field of education.

When thinking back, Michael said, “I didn’t want to be trained as a traditional teacher; I wanted to learn about teaching and learning in the way that I thought was the best way to teach and learn, which was essentially place-based education.”

Impact of the Graduate Program

Michael ended up in the Graduate Program at Teton Science Schools, which he said helped him “understand the power of connecting an individual to a local context and then begin to apply that; I began to understand why that could be a really valuable thing, and that it could be so much more than just environmental education, that it could apply to many other fields.”

After the Program

After his time at Teton Science Schools, Michael and his wife returned to Michigan, where he pursued a master’s in education administration at Northern Michigan University.

Michael worked as the assistant director of a department at a university for 4 years before moving on to work at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The museum was in the process of developing an innovative high school program with place-based education at the core of the teaching philosophy. As current vice president of education for the museum, Michael helps provide opportunities for students to tie their learning to where they live and the world around them through close integration with the museum.