Dr. Michele Harmala

Deputy Superintendent, Division of P-20 System and Student Transitions

Dr. Michele A. Harmala is the Deputy Superintendent, P20 System and Student Transitions for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). She began her role in July 2023. Dr. Harmala has had a lengthy career in education. She has taught at every level within the PreK – higher educational system. She has served in numerous roles including being a teacher, special education director, local school district superintendent, and college professor. Prior to joining the MDE in July, Dr. Harmala was an Associate Professor and Graduate Director for a variety of graduate and postgraduate degree programs at Madonna University, including the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation, Education Specialist in Educational Leadership, and special education programs for Autism, Deaf-Hard of Hearing, and Learning Disabilities teacher certifications. Prior to that she was Superintendent of the Wayne-Westland Community School District, an Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of Student Support Services for Farmington Public Schools, a Regional Consultant for Oakland Schools, along with her teaching and administrative roles in the Huron Valley School District.

Dr. Harmala has a passion for collaboration and collective responsibility and accountability. She lives by her mantra, “student learning and growth through adult learning and growth” and believes quality education and lifelong learning are the foundation to success and achievement that improves schools, organizations, our communities and the world. She has actively led and participated in numerous professional organizations throughout her career. She was recently the Executive Director of, and a previous board for, the Michigan chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, commonly known as MI ASCD, an executive board member and chair of the Policy and Legislation Advocacy committee for the Michigan Association of Professors of Educational Leadership and has served on various committees and workgroups throughout her PreK – 12 educational career. Dr. Harmala is trained in cognitive coaching and is a skilled facilitator who supports teams in obtaining their goals through structured process facilitation.

Dr. Harmala has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s degree, education specialist degree, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from Wayne State University.

  • Company Michigan Department of Education


Day 2
September 21, 2023
10:15 am

Hot Topic Session: Building a Better World for Michigan Kids

21 September

Learn about new programs and activities aligned with Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan from leaders of the Michigan Department of Education to help district leaders improve outcomes for students. Participants will learn about efforts to increase the numbers of certified teachers in areas of shortage, improve early literacy achievement, expand early childhood learning opportunities, and improve student mental health. This engaging, hot topic session will also discuss new budget items and statutes that address adequate and equitable school funding, transportation, and universal school meals.

Dr. Sue Carnell, Chief Deputy Superintendent
Dr. Delsa Chapman, Deputy Superintendent
Dr. Diane Golzynski, Deputy Superintendent
Dr. Michele Harmala, Deputy Superintendent
Dr. Michael F. Rice, State Superintendent,
Richard Lower, Director, Office of Preschool & Out-of-School Time Learning
Rané Garcia, Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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