2018-05-12 / News

Mayor Margaret Doud Earns Alumni Leader Award From CMU

By Stephanie Fortino


Having been inspired by her leadership since childhood, Dr. Shane Cavanaugh nominated Mayor Margaret Doud for a new award from Central Michigan University, the 2018 College of Education Alumni Leader Award. The two are pictured at the award ceremony in Mount Pleasant Friday, April 27. (Central Michigan University College of Education and Human Sevices photograph) Having been inspired by her leadership since childhood, Dr. Shane Cavanaugh nominated Mayor Margaret Doud for a new award from Central Michigan University, the 2018 College of Education Alumni Leader Award. The two are pictured at the award ceremony in Mount Pleasant Friday, April 27. (Central Michigan University College of Education and Human Sevices photograph) In recognition of her years of public service, Mackinac Island Mayor Margaret Doud was recently given an Alumni Leader Award from the Central Michigan University College of Education and Human Services. This was the first year the award was given to alumni from the school who have demonstrated leadership excellence in civic and professional settings.

Margaret Doud was the perfect recipient of the award, according to Dr. Shane Cavanaugh, an educational psychology professor at CMU who nominated her for the award. Having known her for most of her life, Dr. Cavanaugh had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to recognize her as an alumnus.

“I’m very honored and very pleased that I received the award,” Mayor Doud told the Town Crier. “I was totally surprised. I didn’t expect it.”

Margaret Doud was graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and a teaching certificate in 1967, and began her teaching career shortly after. She taught third grade in Petoskey for two years before returning to Mackinac Island to teach kindergarten for four years.

“I like working with young people and with children,” she said, which spurred her interest in teaching.

In 1974, she left teaching to become more involved in her family’s business at the Windermere Hotel and local politics. She was appointed that year to the city council when Dennis Brodeur retired. The next year, she successfully ran for mayor to replace Clem Gunn, and has been reelected every year since, including the most recent election Tuesday, May 8.

This election record and her strong leadership at the city is an accomplishment worthy of recognition, Dr. Cavanaugh said.

“I think she’s just impressive,” she told the Town Crier. “She’s been mayor for a long time, and she’s a tough woman who leads this island. There’s a lot of conflict over things, whether the ferries can go and where buildings can be built. It’s such a tourist place, and so many people love it there. It’s a big job to preserve that and make sure it’s ready for the tourists who come every day.”

Giving the award was particularly special for Dr. Cavanaugh because she and her siblings have looked up to Mayor Doud for years. Her father, Michael Cavanaugh of the Fraser Trebilcock law firm in Lansing, has worked with Mayor Doud and handled an array of legal matters for the city, bringing his family to the Island every summer to visit.

“She’s just been this figure who’s always been someone who had a really interesting job, who was strong, and who stood up for what she believes in,” Dr. Cavanaugh said.

While she did not continue working in education, Mayor Doud’s career path shows a valuable example of what college students can do with an education degree. Dr. Cavanaugh shares Mayor Doud’s story with her college students to illustrate how they can take the skills they’ve learned outside the classroom. Sharing such possibilities is important, Dr. Cavanaugh said, since few of the aspiring educators she teaches will ultimately stay in education. But they do have many marketable skills that are applicable to a wide range of jobs, since most aspire to be lifelong learners. They are willing and able to learn, adaptable, good at thinking on their feet, can connect with others, and can read others well.

Mayor Doud agrees that she has used the skills she learned in college during her career, noting, “You can be an educator and you can also serve your community in many ways.”

Mayor Doud received the award at a ceremony in Mount Pleasant Friday, April 27. She was accompanied by her cousin, Mark Chambers. Her college roommate, Elaine Noffze of Lansing, also attended. Dr. Cavanaugh presented the award following an introduction that listed Mayor Doud’s many accomplishments. She also discussed Mayor Doud’s ability to lead a city of about 500 year-around residents as it hosts tens of thousands of visitors a day during the tourist season.

“Now in her 43rd year as mayor,” Dr. Cavanaugh said, “Ms. Doud’s leadership and business skills should be an inspiration to us all and to CMU’s teacher education students in particular, showing them that their CMU education will prepare them well for any role they may choose to take on in the future, whether that is as a classroom teacher, in business, or in government – or like Margaret, all three.”

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