Press Release

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (Oct. 16, 2019) – The Education Trust-Midwest (ETM) is pleased to announce the addition of team members that will help build upon critical organizational strengths. Jacqueline Garder joins as senior data and policy analyst, Brian L. Love as director of community outreach, and Joann Riemersma as assistant director of ETM’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Gardner comes to ETM from Michigan State University, where she worked in the Office of K-12 Outreach at the College of Education as the director of data and evaluation. In this role, she supported the data needs of Michigan schools and districts, particularly around accountability requirements and student assessment data. Gardner has co-authored several articles, particularly on the topics of educator effectiveness, and a book for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Currently, she is a candidate for her Ph.D. in Education Policy at Michigan State University. Recently, Gardner and two co-authors published research on the shortage of substitute teachers in Michigan and the implications for school districts across the state.

“Jacqueline’s expertise on educator quality, student achievement and equity will benefit Michigan’s students and educators in her role at the Education Trust-Midwest,” said Amber Arellano, executive director. “As a data-driven education policy and research organization, focusing on policies for improving outcomes for students of color and students from low-income families is central to our mission and critical for improving Michigan schools.”

Love joins the external relations team at ETM after nearly twenty years working on critical issues impacting Michigan communities, including for the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, Education Post and StudentsFirst. For nearly twenty years, Love worked on political campaigns and in the offices of State Representatives and State Senators. Love credits his Moorehouse College professors for sparking his passion for politics and his service in the United States Marines for his commitment to serving his community.

“Brian’s extensive experience advocating for Michigan’s underserved is greatly needed in the public education space,” added Arellano. “As fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students – particularly those of color and living in poverty, we know that this experience will be a tremendous asset for the thousands of Michigan students who need and deserve much more.”

Riemersma will support students in Kent County through her leadership at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a program of ETM that serves high-poverty schools in West Michigan. Before joining the ETM team, spent more than 30 years as an educator and administrator in Grand Rapids. In this time, she has worked to ensure that all children were physically, emotionally and socially prepared for school success by combining the best educational practices with a wide range of in-school community, health and social services. A passionate leader of teaching and learning, she has provided professional development to local school districts and intermediate school districts in West Michigan for more than two decades.

“For more than thirty years, student in Grand Rapids benefited from the exceptional leadership of Joann,” said Arellano. “I am thrilled for her to now join our team and bring her experience, passion and dedication to the educators, students and schools that we support every day in Kent County.”