The Dewitt Creativity Group is a united effort on behalf of the creatively-minded students at DHS to ensure continued innovation and expression in all forms.

About DCG

The DeWitt Creativity Group (DCG) was founded in February of 2008 by two DeWitt High School teachers: Jason LaFay and Jeff Croley. The formation of the group was inspired by the flourishing creative culture at DHS; thanks in large part to the continuous efforts of students, teachers, parents, and other district personnel. The DCG is made up of the following groups; they are as follows: Theater Department, Art Department, Audio/Visual Club, Music Club (this includes the Choir and Band programs), DeWitt Research and Development Lab, Creative Writing Club and DHS International Club.

The main focus of the DCG is to promote student creativity in connection with public service, lifelong learning, and entrepreneurialism ( the development of innovative products and services). Another area of emphasis is to prepare students for the creative economy by focusing on 21st Century Skills (www.p21.org). This is an economy that requires people to develop and exercise skills and forms of knowledge such as: critical thinking, technological proficiency, willingness to accept the differences of others, networking, constant reinvention of the self, and the ability to design and implement innovative concepts/practices. Without these skills and forms of knowledge individuals, communities, and countries will fail to prosper.

The DCG is creating opportunities for DHS students by working with public/private entities to help transform the economy of Mid-Michigan. Here is a list of the past, present, and future projects of the DCG:

  • Planned and executed four years (2008-2011) of RiverBash (annual celebration of youth talent/learning in Downtown Dewitt and Old Town, Lansing).
  • Designed and taught "Creative Leadership: Opportunities for Social Innovation class (see class syllabus in "News" section
  • Forming the United States and Michigan Creativity Groups
  • Planned and executed the Creative Educators Summit (2010-to present), an event that showcases innovative secondary school New Economy practices, organizations, and programs.
  • Helped launch the Capital Area Schools of Inoovation Network (CASIN), a coalition of project based learning organizations sharing best ideas and practices for maximum regional impact
  • Working to develop a youth innovation center in Downtown DeWitt. The center will be a place where student creativity/entrepreneurialism is developed through regular seminars and other events. Students have created CAD drawings for the proposed center, presented to the DeWitt Downtown Development Authority, and secured a space in the Riverview Office Building.
  • Members of the DCG attended the following conferences: Creative Cities Summit 2.0, Michigan Prosperity Summit, FastTrac to the Future: The First Day of Your Entrepreneurial Adventure, Michigan Energy Fair, Michigan Makes Movies Expo, and Michigan Economic Summit.
  • Working with the Lansing Area Economic Partnership (LEAP, Inc.), Capital Area Michigan Works!, DeWitt Township and others to create opportunities for students to assist Lansing area businesses through our Adopt-A-Business program, an initiative that partners companies and students to provide real work world experiences. Also, the Youth Business Dynamo is a united effort with the NEO Center (local business incubator) to provide opportunities for student entrepreneurs to collaborate with business start-ups.
  • Helped to create the DeWitt Research and Development Lab; a partnership between the DCG and DeWitt High School to enable students to conduct professional scientific research on topics as varied as alternative energy, food security, biotechnology, and environmental conservation.
  • Inspired the College of Education at Michigan State University to create a "project based" Ed.D program. The DCG presented at the inaugural 2012 Summer Forum to help students generate ideas for statewide K-12 projects.
  • Partnering with Michigan State University and Crossing Borders Education on the Intercultural Film Project to design "toolkits" to be used along with film screenings at high schools, community colleges, and universities across the USA and China.
  • Members of the DCG attended and participated in the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub summit (a trade summit between Canada and the United States of America) in October 2011 at Michigan State University. Students and teachers listened to in depth discussions and presentations regarding the issues of foreign trade. Additionally, students were given the opportunity to vote on a binational strategic plan to increase trade between the two nations.
  • Produced an original stage production of "Questions?" which was used as an educational tool to ignite discussions regarding education reform.
  • Working with the MIchigan Economic Development Corporation to map innovative K-12 entrepreneurial programs.

The DCG is always willing to collaborate with both nationally and internationally organizations. This group "concept" is fluid and ever evolving to meet the interests of students, communities, and educational institutions. We are interested in exchanging ideas and practices with other organizations dedicated to developing learning communities.

Any feedback, insight or networking opportunities can be forwarded to:

lafayjason@gmail.com -517.203.5048 or jmcroley@comcast.net 517.281.4280

For more information go to www.dewittcreativitygroup.org or go to YouTube and search "dewittcreativitygroup" for videos


 DCG Supporters:

Brian Byars (DeWitt Research and Development Lab)

Jeff Croley (Theater Department, Audio/Visual Club, and DHS International Club)

Eder DeLaCruz (Creative Writing Club)

Meghan Eldred (Choir and Music Club Advisor)

Fred Hingst (DeWitt Research and Development Lab)

Jason LaFay ( DHS International Club)

Nathan Lindsey (Art Club)

Lisa Norman (Art Club)

Mike Norman (Band)

Bill Phillips

Mark Servis

Matt Stehouwer

Kelly Williams (Business Professionals of America andDeWitt High School Panther Pause, student run cyber cafe business)

Steve Hargadon (The Future of Education Web site: www.futureofeducation.com)

Ben Bakken

Dr. Norman Longworth (Learning Cities)

Dr. Paul Crawford (PASCAL International Observatory) 

Dr. Michael Osborne (PASCAL International Observatory)

Arnd Wachter (filmmaker)

Kim Mathiot

Chris Fritz

Andrea Kerbuski

Rich Howard

Timothy A. Brannan (President - Instructional Technology Services, Inc.)

Dr. John Deiter

Giannina Gomez

Joey Croley

Geoffrey Croley

Katie Robiadek

Dr. Stehen Rapundalo (MichBio)

Kim Mathiot (Technology and Creativity Consultant for State of Michigan Board of Education)

Jeremy Van Hof

Ari Herstand

Karl Norberg

Rob Bush (Robotics Club)

Sean Wade

Jody McKean

Holly Hetzner

Chris McCarus

Renardo Jefferson (owner of the Lansing Capitals)

Carol Coletta (CEOs for Cities)

AnnMarie Schneider

Dawn Pysarchik

Dr. Susan Printy

Emily Griffes

Katie Donovan (Art Serve Michigan)

Trey Ragatz

Lysne Tait

David Hollister

Other Supporters:

Pat Gillespie                                                Jeff Smith                             Chris Miller               

  Joe Lopez                                                Linda Hundt                        Linda Frederickson

 Jeff Spicer                                                   Ivy Hughes                          Alan Hooper

Doc Robinson                                              Barb Fails                          Jaime Schriner-Hooper

Denyse Ferguson                                        Kate Tykocki                     Virg Bernero      

Tim Hunnicutt                                              Sydney Watkins                  Thomas Stewart

 Dru Mitchell                                                  Jim Hudgins                       Tricia Bobeda

Pamela Jodway                                            Bob Gehrls                         Austin Howard

Reham Alexander                                        Bill Brown                            Rebecca Stimpson

Lucas Huttenga                                           Larry Estlack                       Robyn Stegman

Karen Gagnon                                             John Czarnecki                   Loretta Spinrad

Richard Florida                                            Richard Stevens                 Kevin McFatridge

Casey Cavanaugh                                       Heather Frarey                    Tim Lane

Erik Kupsis                                                  Jeff Butler                              Rod Taylor

Alex Ovenhouse                                          Lindsay Chestnut                  Ana Cardona

Bruce Joslyn                                                 Kerissa Bradley                   Mike Lee

Kevin Karpinski                                            Ben Russell                          Kellie Dean

Mansour Ashtiani                                         David Esch                           Micki O'Neil

Charles Landry                                             Aaron Matthews                  Gov. Jennifer Granholm

 Stephanie Marvin                                        Sean Bradley                      Gov. Rick Snyder

 Taylor Curtiss                                               Joey Lopez                          Melissa Croley

  Paul Jaques                                                Nancy Colflesh                     Steve Bennett

    Keith Young                                              Stacy Adado                         Lonnie Thomas

Todd Burlingham                                           Keri Litwiller                         Terry Benton       

 Matinga Ragatz                                            Ashley Sonefeld                  Averie Conn

Matt Hygh                                                        Julian Stall                          Joe Yockey

Kristal Edie                                                    Rachel Heinze                     Katie Coon

Megan Smania                                              Danielle Draves                  Kayla Fournier

Sophia Lantz                                                 Erika Hodges                      Abby Turpen

Jeff Thoenes                                                  Jay Bennett                          Vincent Delgado

Bittney Hoszkiw                                             Chad Badgero                      Taylar Miller

Nicole Namy                                                   Cheryl Peters                        Jason Traub

Rob Spagnulo                                                 Spence Sowulewski             Nicolas Theoret

 Mari Wichman                                                 Amy Butler                           Caleb Rivard

Gabe Pierce

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