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When you walk into Marshall Academy, one of the first faces you see is Kristen McDowell, the Office Manager/Homeless Liaison. It was clear to see the love that students, staff and families had for Kristen as she was presented with this month’s #MICharterHero award. As she accepted the award, several students ran up to her to provide hugs and let her know how much they love her. Kristen’s nomination said the same, saying she is the person ensuring students have the best experience possible at Marshall Academy.
Kristen is at every event. She wants these students to get the full experience. She sets up the carnival, she books the dances and creates all our flyers. She sets up meet-and- greet events in the summer. She drives the neighborhood to deliver food. She takes kids shopping when they do not have uniforms. She is our homeless liaison. If she was not here, we would not be who we are today. She is the glue that has kept Marshall Academy together through thick and thin for the last 16 years.
For those who work with Kristen, they understand just how many “hats she wears”. Kristen’s nomination said she does it all.
She champions the charter schools movement every chance she gets. She started as a classroom aide in the Kindergarten room. After a few years she was answering the phones in the front office. Then she became the AA to the headmaster. Now she runs the entire front office. Kristen wears many hats. She books building subs and covers classes. She manages all our media and does a phenomenal job getting our story out into the hands of our community. If you have ever seen our Facebook, Instagram and website that is 100% because of her.”
For Kristen, who started at Marshall Academy over 16 years ago, she said it has been an incredible journey watching Marshall Academy grow.
Since I’ve been here, we’ve really added more to Marshall Academy to make it a better place. We’ve added a lunch program, we’ve added the bus program. We’ve just continuously developed and I have so many memories, I don’t know how to narrow it down.”
Although she couldn’t narrow it down at first, Kristen said one of her favorite memories came just last year.
Last year was a great memory, it was the first class I’d ever seen all the way through kindergarten through 12th grade and was able to watch them graduate. It’s amazing to see how they develop and I’m so thankful to be here.”
The best way to sum up Kristen? Her nomination said she is the reason for Marshall Academy’s success.
I have been in my position for the last five years and I could have never done my job without her. She is my rock and this school's success can be directly traced back to this one woman.”
Marshall Academy is a K-12 public charter school located in Marshall, Michigan. Marshall Academy is authorized by Ferris State University and is managed by Midwest Management.
#MICharter Hero is supported by: