Kanke | NAZ Academic Specialist located at PCYC

"At first, all of the scholars were trying to see who I was ...

One scholar was very resistant toward me, and toward a lot of things. Challenging behavior often shows up because the coursework is too difficult and the child tends to act out. It's not that they're a bad kid, but no one has had the time to stop and see what a kid needs.

One day, he brought his football, and I said: 'let's go to the gym' — knowing he was struggling with sight words. So we threw the ball back and for and spelled 'all' — A-L-L. That became our rhythm.

Now, he has a new way to learn. The classroom doesn't always work for everybody; sometimes we have to switch it up. And I really appreciate the opportunity to bring my creativity.

He's able to do both now — work in the gym and in the classroom space. What I'm able to do is build up his confidence in himself and in his reading. And he's doing it!

A lot of the staff a PCYC work in the field of social work, and they use the term 'hire.' And this scholar we're talking about hired me. It's a trust, someone he can trust and go to.

What I walk forward with is that connection with him. He knows we're on it — both of us. It's like 'Hey Ms. Kanke, we haven't met this week' and I'm like 'I'm coming for you; I got you.'

That's my guy. There was a lot of kicking and screaming at the beginning ... but he's the funniest and he's so loving and I wish everyone could see that."

... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago  ·  

Management and Structure

NAZ manages with multiple levels of leadership, including NAZ Board of Directors, collaborative partner leadership, our parent leaders, and NAZ Central leadership staff.

NAZ Leadership Staff

Sondra Samuels, President and Chief Executive Officer (biography)
Michelle Martin, Chief Operating Officer (biography)
M. Taylor Edgerton, Chief Advancement Officer  (biography)
David Devine, Senior Finance Director
Andre Dukes, Director of Organizational Learning and Practice (biography)
Michelle Palo, Collaboration Director – Family Support
Alysha Price, Senior Director of Program Innovation & Strategy
Adrienne Vitt, Marketing & Communications Director
Bonnie Hatterman, Human Resources Director

NAZ Board of Directors

Board Officers
Karen Kelley-Ariwoola, Board Chair, Chief Officer of External Relations, Harvest Network of Schools
Peter Kellenberger, Board Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, Managing Director, PNC Corporate Banking

Tawanna Black, Executive Director, Northside Funders Group
Tom Borman, Of Counsel, Maslon L.L.P.
Deb Burke

Michael Ciresi, Founding Partner, Ciresi Conlin L.L.P.
Kim Ellison, Vice Chair, Minneapolis Public School Board
Frank Forsberg, Senior Vice President, Systems Change and Innovation, Greater Twin Cities United Way
Karen Grabow,  Resource Development Chair, Retired, Land O’Lakes, 
Mayor Betsy Hodges, Mayor, City of Minneapolis
David Hough, County Administrator, Hennepin County
Anne Long, Governance Chair, Executive Director, Plymouth Christian Youth Center
Ann Masten, Impact Committee Chair, Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota,
Cora McCorvey, Former Executive Director and CEO, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
Calahena Merrick, NAZ Parent Advisory Board, Recruitment Programs Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Taya Morgan, NAZ Parent Advisory Board, Business Process Representative, CenterPoint Energy 
Patty Murphy, NAZ Investment Campaign Chair
Kim Nelson, Senior Vice President of External Relations; President, General Mills Foundation, General Mills
Michael O’Connell
Art Rolnick, Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Human Capital Research Collaborative, University of Minnesota
R.T. Rybak, CEO & President, Minneapolis Foundation
Chad Schwitters, Executive Director, Urban Homeworks
Brian Taylor, Founding Partner & CEO, Pine River Capital Management
Michelle Walker, Executive Director, Generation Next

Parent Advisory Board Members

Tamara Campbell
Ogi Carter
Jhantaya Morgan
Gregory Wheeler
Grey Wheeler
Ethropic Burnett
Charise Curry
Marquita Haynes
Doninique Mays
Calehena Merrick

NAZ Executive Leaders

*DeAnna Cummings, Executive Director, Juxtaposition Arts
Ann Marie DeGroot, Executive Director, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board
Pastor Alika Galloway, Pastor, Kwanzaa 21st Century Academy
Molly Greenman, President & CEO, Family Partnership
*Matt Halley, Executive Director, Cookie Cart
*Dianne Haulcy, Director of Family Engagement, Think Small
Anne Long, Executive Director, Plymouth Christian Youth Center (PCYC)

*Chad Schwitters, Executive Director, Urban Homeworks
*Maureen Seiwert, Executive Director of Early Childhood EducationMinneapolis Public Schools
Paul Williams, Executive Director, Project for Pride in Living
Suzanne Kelley
Julie Brekke
Tom Streitz
Laurie Ohmann
Phyllis Sloan
Clare Sanford
Karen Kelley-Ariwoola
Benito Matias

*NAZ Action Team Chair or Co-chair