Dr. Katherine Ellison
Most people around Hemlock know her as “Katie.” She serves as the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Saginaw Valley State University while her husband, Philip, owns Outside Legal Counsel, a law firm in Hemlock. Katherine and Phil were middle school sweethearts, and both are Hemlock High School alums. They have one son, Patton, who attends Hemlock’s childcare and preschool programs, and a border terrier named Hudson, who, while a terrier by birth, is a Huskie by choice.
In her spare time, Katherine enjoys numerous activities. She is active in community bands playing the alto saxophone, running, walking her dog, and volunteering with the Sawdust Days festival committee and the Hemlock Area Historical Society. She also serves as the treasurer on the Saginaw Intermediate School District Board of Education. Katherine graduated from Hemlock High School in 2000, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Central Michigan University (2003), a Master of Arts degree in history from Central Michigan University (2006), and a Doctorate in American History from Western Michigan University (2013). She chose to serve on the Board of Education, because she appreciates the importance of taking an active role in one’s community to make it a better place to live.
Katherine also believes that the school system is really the heart and soul of the community (as in any small community) and feels that her previous experience as a college professor gives her a unique perspective to help better prepare students for their future. She believes the biggest challenge facing our school district today is funding. Schools have been traditionally underfunded in our state and this poses continuous problems for many districts, but Hemlock has focused on kids and worked with the resources they do have to build an amazing program and facilities, including searching out grant funds to pay for technology in the form of a 1:1 program and the state-of-the-art Lockwood STEM Center. They have also turned to the community for support in the form of a sinking fund to improve and maintain facilities. Katherine is proud to be a Huskie and proud of HPS because the people here truly care--about the students, about each other, and about this community. Despite challenges, setbacks, and the stigma of a small school operating with “less than” that of other bigger districts, Hemlock has always pulled together to put kids first through innovation, collaboration, and education.
Interesting Fact: She was in the last group of freshmen at Hemlock High School to learn to type on a typewriter!