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Meet Your New Principal: Midvale's Laura Tinsley

Birmingham Patch brings you the last in a series of profiles of Birmingham's newest principals in town.

Meet Your New Principal: Midvale's Laura Tinsley

There are five new principals at this year, and they're all excited to meet their students and the Birmingham community.

Comprising this new class of principals, all of whom replaced resigning or retiring administrators during the summer, are: Jamii Hitchcock at , Deana Lancaster at , Jason Clinkscale at , Laura Tinsley at the and Susan Crocker at .

Patch is catching up with all of Birmingham's new principals and introducing them to you in a series of profiles. Today, we're talking to:

Laura Tinsley


Replacing: Cathy Heller, the first director of the Midvale Childhood Center, who retired last year.

History: Tinsley has been both a teacher and parent in the Birmingham Public School district for more than 15 years.

Growing up in the Plymouth-Canton area, Tinsley earned her degree in elementary education from Michigan State before being hired on as a kindergarten teacher in the Walled Lake school district.

After earning her masters in early childhood education from Oakland University, however, Tinsley took a break from her career to raise her three boys—Cameron, a freshman this year at , Colton, a fifth-grader at , and Jackson, who attends . For 13 years, she operated from her home base in Beverly Hills, but after two of her children attended Midvale, she knew where she wanted to work next.

Two years ago, Tinsley joined Midvale as a teacher in the four-year-old classroom. When Heller retired at the end of last year, Tinsley knew she had to apply for the director position.

Plans for 2011-12: As Midvale's newest director, Tinsley said she won't be making any big plans until the school year begins. However, she wants to make sure her teachers and students succeed.

"I want to provide supportive leadership to where I'm helping the teachers do their best," she said, noting she has plans to be in all the classrooms.

"I really enjoy being with the kids."

Why she loves Midvale: Tinsley said the reason she applied for the director position was the same reason she sent two her boys to Midvale when they were young: Midvale's philosophy of early childhood education is the same as hers.

"The reason I chose this school for my children is they strive for quality here," she said. "I love this community, the parents are involved."

Message to parents: Tinsley said she wants parents to know she has an open door.

"Know that I'm open to their concerns and questions," she said. "We really work hard here."

Tinsley recommends that parent become involved in their child's education from the very beginning. From speaking directly with their child's teacher, opportunities are available for parents to volunteer in and outside the classroom.

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