Professional Learning

Main Office Phone: 616-819-1997

Erich Harmsen
Executive Director of Professional Learning
Phone: 616-819-2007

Tina Watson
Director of Professional Learning
Phone: 616-819-4189



The Professional Learning Department's purpose is to support the district with a comprehensive view of what the organization is learning and needs to learn.  It designs systemic ways to initiate and/or respond to internal and external changes that necessitate the organization to transform.  Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, states “an organization is learning when it can bring about the future it most desires.”  GRPS’ strategic plan states the vision for GRPS is to be a world-class school district. 

Professional Learning supports the district vision with the following work.

  • Lead and facilitate the on-going process to develop a PreK-12 Academic Plan to ensure consistent, quality learning for all students.  Operations and Support Service plans align to the Academic Plan.
  • Ensure alignment and coherence with Academic structures, processes and strategies for implementation of the Academic Plan.
  • Design a Performance System that links together professional development, research and evaluation.
  • Coordinate and direct the resources/inputs of external service providers and consultants to line up with district needs.
  • Collaborate and partner with foundations and SOAR, a civic action group, to support the district with external input, advocacy and resources.
  •  Build mechanisms for accountability and follow-through.
  • Create opportunities for reflection that informs decision making and mid-course corrections.

Professional Learning