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Michigan's AmeriCorps Site Supervisor of the Month
Principal Carol Thola may be new to the Petoskey Public School System but one would never know it. She can be seen on a daily basis opening the doors to Ottawa Elementary School to welcome all the students and guests who enter the building. She always has a smile and hello, takes time to speak with and get to know the students, and works to address students’ needs on a daily basis. In addition to being the Principal at Ottawa Elementary, Carol serves as a site supervisor for the Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps program.
The Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps Program engages 10 full-time members to serve youth within the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District. These members provide extra reading assistance to K-5 students who have been identified as below grade level readers. Being in a brand new position, it would have been very easy for Carol to decline having an AmeriCorps member placed at Ottawa Elementary in her first year. She knew very little about AmeriCorps or the Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps program; but when she heard about what AmeriCorps members do and the many successes the program has had with at-risk readers, she was excited to be part of it.
Despite a demanding schedule, Carol always makes time for her role as site supervisor because it is another opportunity to help her students succeed. “As an AmeriCorps member, Principal Thola supports me in a multitude of ways,” stated Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps member Kathy Dufek. “She is there for me when I have a question about students’ needs or am looking for ideas or advice. She has set the bar high on education values and inspires her staff by sharing progress, accomplishments, and encouraging words. She has been a great role model not only to me, but to her entire staff and all the students. Principal Thola is a wonderful, amazing, and positive impact on our school and I feel that I'm the lucky one here!”
For more information about the Char-Em ISD AmeriCorps program, contact program director Dennis Halverson at email@example.com. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit www.americorps.gov.