Ms. Caitlyn Dittel 

Portrait of Caitlyn James 

Caitlyn Dittel

616 363-8036

Eek, Alaska—3,271 miles away from Grand Rapids, Michigan—is where I began my journey in teaching. For three years, I immersed myself in a culture and environment far different from that of my West Michigan upbringing. In this rural Alaskan village of approximately 300 people, I found myself teaching English 9, 10, 11, and 12, along with an extensive list of elective courses; after school, I also coached high school girls’ basketball and co-ed high school volleyball. Life in the Great North was challenging, but, ultimately, rewarding—I learned a lot about myself, and even more about teaching young people. Eventually, the time came when my yearning to return to family and friends forced me back to the Mitten. Fortunately, I secured a new job at Kent Innovation High, and this is where I have been ever since. I teach English 10 in an integrated course with American History, and also a stand-alone English 12 course.

Outside of school, I stay pretty busy. In August, I married my wonderful husband.  Together, we have two cats, Moww and Walden, and a needy dog named Atlas, who requires (...his choice) constant attention. When I’m not busy “adulting,” I enjoy spending time immersing myself in the true crime genre (both on screen and page), spending time outdoors (hiking, fishing, snowboarding, and hosting bonfires are my all-time favorite outdoor activities), and exploring what Michigan has to offer.

Furthermore, I grew up in Grand Rapids, and graduated from one of KIH’s sending schools, Forest Hills Northern. After high school, I attended Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in English and minoring in Earth Science. Wanting to further my education and follow my interests, I pursued a Master of Arts in Educational Technology (also through Central Michigan University).