Dr. Michelle Howard-Brahaney is from Ottawa Lake, Michigan where she has been dedicated to education for more than 25 years. She started her career as a middle school teacher for students with emotional and learning impairments. She also served as a teacher consultant for students with disabilities in K-12 programs. In 1999, she became a supervisor of special education at Monroe County Intermediate School District. In 2009, she was named the Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Early Childhood Services and led a department of nearly 500 staff. In this role she served as a liaison between the Michigan Department of Education and the local school districts in Monroe County. She was appointed to several state-wide committees including the Early Literacy Task Force, School-Justice Partnership Coalition, and State Complaint and Resolution Procedures. Together, with her team, she implemented several county wide initiatives including multi-tiered systems of support, project graduation to focus on school engagement and attendance, beginning educator induction programs, principal leadership trainings, and crisis response efforts. She also led many grant-funded activities and served as the primary author of the Early Head Start and Head Start grants.
In 2016, she received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Theory and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Toledo, Ohio. In addition to this degree, she earned an Educational Specialist in Administration from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. She received a federal award from the Office of Special Education for her Master’s Degree which is in special education with a focus on students with emotional impairments and autism; her Bachelor’s Degree is in elementary and special education.
She served as an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, Ohio. A primary research interest is parent-teacher engagement where she recently was an invited presenter at the National Early Childhood Research Conference in Washington D.C. Also, she has been selected to serve as a member of the AASA, The School Superintendents Association, early learning cohort.
Dr. Howard-Brahaney and her husband, Paul will reside in Vincenza, Italy. She has three children, Michalea, Mason, and Chase. Michalea and Mason are college students in Michigan. Chase is a senior in high school and is seeking an appointment to the US Naval Academy. Dr. Howard-Brahaney is honored to serve military connected students and their families. Mr. Brahaney served in the US Army and Ohio National Guard, her father-in-law retired from the US Airforce, her grandfather served in WW II and was stationed in Italy.