By Shanna Avery

Herald Review staff writer

LANSING — Alaina Dague, who grew up in the community of Lake and graduated from Chippewa Hills, now has influence at the state level to promote and lift up the importance of educators in the school systems through the Proud Michigan Educator campaign.

Dague had the recent honor of being accepted to work at the Michigan Department of Education in the Office of Educator Talent through Leadership for Education Equity's Public Policy Fellowship. In this role, she campaigns through the Proud Michigan Educator program to lift up the work of educators, change the narrative around teaching and elevate the respect of the teaching profession through social media and traditional media.

The fellowship is a full-time policy in the department of Lansing, and Dague will be working with the fellowship until May.

"Working for the Proud Michigan Educator campaign is exciting for me," Dague said. "I spent three years as a middle school teacher, but I have a special interest in policy. Working with policy, I can help teachers across the state to be celebrated, overall impacting education in a positive way."

One of the initiatives Dague has committed to is a video series focusing on the different narratives of educators stories.

"There is a bigger vision to the Proud Michigan Educator campaign," said Dague. "There is an issue with teacher turnover. People have felt discouraged to go into the teaching profession. We are encouraging people to launch into becoming Michigan educators, and hopefully this will take the teaching profession in a positive direction across the state."

At the end of the fellowship, Dague hopes to transition into a full time policy or education advocacy role.