Our Board of Directors

Debbie McFalone, Ph.D.
Deborah Vriend Van Duinen, Ph.D.
Laurie Birkholz, M.D.
Rebecca Moore, Ed.D.

Dr. Debbie McFalone is a

co-author of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Association’s  Leadership Matters Program, and has co-facilitated that year-long intensive learning program for principals since it’s beginning in 2009. In her work as an independent consultant, Debbie draws on her experience as a teacher, principal, and Area Superintendent to inform her work of empowering and equipping today’s educators. She studied for four years with the Harvard Change Leadership Group, building a deep understanding of leading during times of exponential change. Debbie facilitates the Instructional Leaders Institute through Michigan ASCD and has presented nationally on the topic of “Difficult Conversations”. She has led learning sessions for leaders in over 60 districts and intermediate school districts in Michigan and Wisconsin. In 2017, Debbie received the Educational Leadership Award from MEMSPA.  


Debbie holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, where her dissertation focused on the nature of courage and integrity in leadership. Debbie is also the originator and facilitator for MEMSPA’s additional cohort program for principals, the Leverage Leadership program. 

You can reach Debbie on twitter at @debbiemcfalone and 


Dr. Deborah Vriend Van Duinen is a scholar, teacher educator and literacy researcher. A former high school English teacher, she now enjoys working with preservice teachers as an associate professor of English Education at Hope College in Holland, MI.


Deborah's research interests focus on adolescent literacy, young adult literature, and preservice teacher education. She presents regularly at national and state conferences and her scholarly writing has been published in English Journal and Voices From the Middle. She received the Michigan Reading Association Individual Literacy award in 2016.

Deborah also founded the Big Read Holland, a National Endowment of the Arts program, in Holland, MI. The program's focus has been on "creating and fostering a culture where reading matters." To date, the program is in it's fifth year and is currently partnering with seven high schools and numerous community organizations.

Dr. Laurie Birkholz, MD is a board certified Family Medicine physician and fellowship trained Women's Health specialist practicing in Southwest Michigan.  Dr. Birkholz believes in the importance of caring for the whole woman through a holistic approach based in lifestyle medicine and prevention.  Her Women’s Health training allows for additional focus in areas that include menopausal medicine, sexual health and gynecology.  Dr. Birkholz embraces the belief that knowledge is power and strives to educate and empower her patients to lead their healthiest and most fulfilling lives.  She is committed to providing a safe space that offers compassionate, evidence-based medicine while promoting social tolerance and equality.  ALL are welcome and celebrated in her practice. 


Dr. Birkholz also holds the very important titles of Mom to Hayden & Anna and Wife to Eric.  They live locally in Saugatuck and love all things outdoors.  She is a life-long wellness enthusiast, avid runner and Peloton addict.  

Becky Moore currently serves as the Curriculum Director for at Northview Public Schools. She previously served as an Early Elementary School Principal in Mattawan Consolidated Schools. 

Prior to that she was a teacher, instructional coach, and reading specialist in Lakeview Schools in Battle Creek, MI, working with and teaching students in grades K-8th. Throughout her over fifteen years in education she has always been intrigued by curriculum, particularly in finding ways to adjust the curricula to meet the needs of all students, both collectively and individually. She believes in curriculum that honors and supports the needs of the whole child and the whole teacher. 

Becky holds a Ed.D. from Michigan State University in Educational Administration. She has been a member of MEMPSA since 2003. 

"Mentoring is a process of becoming, not an unimpeded march to perfection." - Max DePree

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