#MNPSVoices: Whitney Slovick, Community Achieves Program Specialist
Whitney Slovick’s holiday sweater is a representation of the Support Services department – spunky, creative and the epitome of teamwork. Slovick can name exactly which one of her coworkers inspired each idea for her award-winning sweater —she was just the canvas. The department, comprised of areas such as counseling, student health and social emotional learning, is made up of individuals who work hard on whatever tasks they face – even the challenge of transforming a sweater into a holiday table for entry into an Ugly Sweater Contest.
As a Community Achieves program specialist, Slovick works as a liaison between the district’s Central Office and the Community Achieves schools. The program is a district-led initiative that supports the development of full-service community schools by using partnerships to provide needed resources for students.
“I know the trials and tribulations of the community school model at the ground level so I can bring that knowledge back to the district office where decisions are made,” Slovick said. “I have a birds-eye view so when I meet with community partners I have a better idea of what our schools need.”
Slovick said her job at times can be emotional, and this past holiday season was one of those times when she witnessed many acts of generous giving from MNPS’ dedicated community partners. Her favorite, of many donations, was at Buena Vista Elementary School, in which a community partner adopted the entire school for the holidays providing each student with multiple, festively wrapped presents.
“The best part was seeing the gifts lined up and watching the students run in by grade to open their surprises. They were so excited by every part of the process,” Slovick said. “I could not leave that joy…I stayed there longer than I expected—it was the most heartwarming day.”
The Community Achieves framework has been in MNPS schools for several years now, and the goal is to replicate the framework across the district. This year, Slovick and the rest of her team hope to continue the work toward building clear processes that align community partners with the needs of Metro Schools.
Like many people who enjoy their work, Slovick also understands the importance of taking time to wind down from her day-to-day responsibilities. The Chicago native is an avid runner who participates in Ragnar relay races, overnight races in which participants run anywhere from 11 to 25 miles. Slovick ran her first Ragnar race last summer in New Hampshire and now has her sights set on the Chattanooga to Nashville Ragnar relay this spring.
If you’re interested in joining the MNPS team, visit our careers page for more information.