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Spotlight on Ann Mavis!

Ann and her daughter

Ann is an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow serving students at Minneapolis’s Southwest High School (in partnership with the Check & Connect program), and her path to service is unique and inspiring!

Ann’s career has included a wide span of positions within the education sector; school bus driver, parent volunteer, school board member, positions at the University of Minnesota and various nonprofits, and most recently, a decade in the Minneapolis Public School District’s Research, Evaluation and Assessment department.   After this impressive career, there was still one place Ann had never worked: in a school!

After Ann left MPS, her first instinct was to fill that gap.  Having worked with the Check & Connect program for years, she was familiar with the model and impact, and said “yes” when MPS Director of Student Retention and Recovery Colleen Kaibel suggested serving as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow with the program.

What has Ann learned through her service? 

Ann says she has seen the impact of being a consistent presence with the same students every day.  She spoke about one student who finally started coming to her room after weeks of trying to engage with him.  When she asked him why, he said, “If I’m having a bad day, I like to come in and I know you’ll say something to cheer me up.”

What else works for Ann?

Snacks.  Incentives. Strong relationships with teachers.

What has been surprising?

Helping students with coursework- relearning high school math to help her students with homework!

What would she like to do more of? 

Parent engagement!

In addition to serving as a Promise Fellow, Ann recently completed her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration; her dissertation topic focused on the sustainability of evidence-based interventions in education, through the lens of Check & Connect.  You can catch Ann presenting more about her dissertation at the National Check & Connect Global Reach Conference in September!

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