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North High's Family Liaison/Volunteer Coordinator

North High's Family Liaison and Volunteer Coordinator for the 2017-2018 year is Spring Moody. 

Contact info: 612-668-1726; spring.moody@mpls.k12.mn.us. Her office is located in the Parent Room, 320 accross from the main office.

Get to know a little about her:

 

What is your job?

My job as family liaison is to help parents feel more involved in their child's education experience. That entails helping to foster regular communication between school and home (phone calls, newsletters, emails, website, etc.) engaging families through events/meetings designed with them in mind. Also I recruit, train and supervise community and parent volunteers. In addition to working to estabish partnerships with community groups and organizations I am a contact for parent concerns and issues. along with other responsibilities as assigned by building prinicipal.

 

How long have you worked at North and MPS?

This is my 21st year with MPS. The first 16 years were at Cityview School (initially known as Northside Community) and this is my 5th year here at North High.

 

What qualifies you for the position of Family Liaison at North HIgh?

For the last 21 years, one of my primary responsibilities has been working with families. For many years it was as an office clerk when I would greet families, help them register their children for school, address any concerns they might have, answer questions or direct them to those who could. Though my position as a family liaison is different than that of an office clerk, the same relationship building, the same finding answers to parents' questions and addressing concerns is required.  I have much experience in that area.

In addition, I strongly believe that a huge part of being a family liaison is caring about people - pure and simple.  You have to sincerely care enough about people and their needs and problems.  The other part of it is having the knowledge and skill set to implement solutions and create opportunities (or know how to get to those who do). The latter is very important but is useless without the former.

A little while back at a  MPS Parent Liasion workshop we watched a small bit of a youtube seminar about your "what" and your "why". What you do vs. Why you do it. And its the why that makes the difference in your outcome. My why is very powerful and I believe contributes in qualifying my 'what' - if that makes any sense. Click on the link below to see the youtube video we watched at that workshop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wfgBFdibhk.

 

What do you like most about working at North High and with North High families?

They are real. They are familiar. They are resilient. I have worked on the north side for all of my MPS career. Its hard to imagine working with any other community. 

 

Life changes and sometimes moves are made. If you have to move on from North some day, what do you hope to leave behind for the next family liaison to step into and take to the next level?

There is always someone who can do something better and take something farther than you did. Its the nature of progress. So I would hope that what I have tried to do at North as far as inclusion and reaching out to all families including those underrepresented, would continue under the next person. On a small scale, I have attempted to make sure each demographic at our school feels a part of North High's family. At the very least I have tried to acknowledge them and let them know, 'we see you'. But my vision is for this to be amplified times 10 and I would hope that the next person has the desire and the skill set to make that happen in ways that I have not. 

What are you most proud of during your years at MPS?

People that have come back to me years later and told me that I had an impact on them - whether it was parents, students or colleagues. Example for several years when I was at Cityview School I was involved in a mentor program that the social worker at the time had implemented. In this program any staff person could mentor 2-4 students identified as needing additional attention. I usually had about 3 each year that I mentored. One, was a young lady from Sudan in Africa. She started at Cityview when she was in the 6th grade and I mentored her from 6th-8th - her final year with the school. She was a straight A student who was extremely smart but struggled in this new environment and under the weight of being different. Her family was very poor and she was bullied a great deal at school. Anyway, to make a long story short, this student went on to finish high school, received several scholarships to college, completed her bachelors, her masters and is currently working on her doctorate. Last year, she looked me up and called me to tell me that she had to write an essay for her application to the PhD program and the essay was about someone who had an influence on you that helped you get to the point where you are in life today. She told me that she thought of two people- and I was one of them.  She wanted to look me up to tell me, thank you. About a month later she came to town for a visit and brought me flowers. We got together for a cup of tea. I had not seen her for many years and I could not have been more proud. I used to be in the habit of saying, when asked what work I do at the school, "Oh, I am just a clerk." And its true. That's what I was - nothing special. But I have learned that being "just" anything doesn't mean you don't have the ability to positively affect someone's life.