Let's Show Them Some Love: Community School Coordinators

coordinators

Did you know that there are approximately 10,000 schools across the country that are implementing the community school strategy? Incredibly, 7 of those schools are right here in our community!

So what is a community school? Community Schools are where our community gathers to create hubs of opportunity in support of students, their families, and the extended community. This is truly a team effort with collaboration between the school, the community (including local businesses and faith communities), and our valued nonprofit and public service partners. 

Community School Coordinators

At the center of this work is a United Way staff member - a Community School Coordinator who goes to work every day at their school community. Their job is to help build relationships, make community connections that bring in new resources or partnerships. Coordinators are also committed to ensuring that at the center of all the work, youth and family voices are heard and fostered as leaders. 

So this week, across the country, communities are celebrating and appreciating their hard-working Community School Coordinators. 
 

We Love Our Coordinators!

In alphabetical order, meet the team:

 

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Corry Hyde is our Community School Coordinator at AC Reynolds Middle. Corry is entering his second year as coordinator, and he is focused this year on supporting the development of the Rocket Launchers student leadership group as well as a year-long equity-themed professional development series for all staff.

You may recognize Corry from this recent video in which he and Ginny Spencer both share their experience at their respective school communities. 

And here's a recent blog introducing Corry to the community and where you can learn a little more about him. 


 

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It's hard to believe but Ginny Spencer is entering her fifth year as Community School Coordinator at Enka Middle. Ginny is passionate about working with partners to remove barriers so that ALL students and families have the support they need.

Ginny’s passion for youth leadership has led to the creation of the Jet Setters, a student group focused on developing student leaders who serve as welcoming ambassadors for new students at the school.

As one teacher noted, “Ginny always tries to make things better at our school - from every angle - better for students, staff, parents, and community.” 

Check out this blog featuring efforts Ginny undertook to keep connected with the students during last year's virtual learning


 

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North Buncombe Middle School is new to the community school strategy this year, and Jay Jennings has jumped right into his role as the Community School Coordinator. 

Jay has already been hard at work developing relationships with students, staff, and families. He’s also making connections with various community partners that will be providing mentoring and tutoring support at the school, in both English and Spanish.

We're glad you are with us Jay!


 

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It's true. Jocelin Rosas is entering her 3rd year as the Community School Coordinator at Erwin Middle. She is a native Spanish speaker and has deep connections with the Latinx community at the school. She is compassionate and kind and advocates for all the students at Erwin, empowering student groups such as the Welcome Warriors and the Jalapeño Club! She advocates for language justice at the school so all students and families feel seen and heard. 

One way Jocelin has helped guide the community through the challenges of Covid has been by helping to facilitate community engagement markets, making sure families have access to healthy groceries throughout these difficult times. She is a true community hero!

Check out this story about her work to co-create supportive space for Latino students


 

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Shout out to the Swannanoa Valley - we've got you covered! Josh Wells is one of our veteran Community School Coordinators, entering his fourth year at Owen Middle. Josh's easy-going and kind nature makes him a perfect fit for the staff and students at the school. He has natural ease at making community partnerships and connections for the Owen Middle community. Josh also made huge strides in advocating for Restorative Practices at the school which has led to nearly 100% of the staff being trained in facilitating community-building circles!

Here's a piece about Josh's work at Owen Middle from this past August. 


 

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Shataura Dudley is starting her second year as Asheville Middle’s Community School Coordinator. It is no small thing that Shataura is an alumna of Asheville Middle School and has a huge heart for students and families and this community!

She is excited this year to support the re-launch of AMS’ equity-centered Student Government and the ongoing schoolwide utilization of Restorative Practices to deepen positive relationships at the school.

Get to know Shataura a little better from this blog from over the summer. 

 


 

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Tatyana Barrett is the Community School Coordinator at Asheville High/SILSA and joins Jay Jennings as one of the coordinators at two new community schools for this year.

Tatyana may be new to this role but she is not new to the school, having worked for the past 3 years as UNCA’s AVID Tutor Leader, managing and leading the work of 50 tutors in Asheville City Schools. Tatyana has already connected with a wide range of community partners that are going to be instrumental in developing support for students and families at AHS/SILSA. We can’t wait to see what this year will bring with Tatyana leading the community schools charge!

This story by UNCA talks more about the AVID program and includes a feature about Tatyana and how she worked to support students during the virtual learning last year

 

Things You Can Do

  • Thank a Coordinator | If you have a chance to see/meet one of these incredible team members of ours, please thank them for what they do and the commitment they have to our youth, and our community.  
     
  • Join Us | What’s better than telling someone you appreciate them? How about offering to help them out! If you think you’d like to support their efforts, check out youth impact volunteer opportunities or contact kyle.garrett@unitedwayabc.org to learn more about their work. 
     
  • Learn More | If you haven’t already done so, take a minute to read last week’s blog about the growth of the community school strategy across the country. We link to the US World and News Report article that features programs from across the country and we also share some early results from our own work. unitedwayabc.org/blog/community-schools-trending