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Meet Mia: Academic & Behavioral Support

Meet Mia: Academic & Behavioral Support

March 1 was Employee Appreciation Day! We’re celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about Mia Macdonald, Lead Academic and Behavioral Support Staff, and what a day at work is like for a floater at New Story Schools Monroeville campus. 

What is your favorite thing about working at New Story Schools?

I enjoy collaborating with staff and working with people that have a common goal to help students succeed and reach their fullest potential.

What keeps you coming to work each day?

Knowing that I will be able to continue building relationships with both students and staff alike. 

How do you make an impact on students' lives?

I work to know each individual student's needs and interests to connect with them. I show them that I believe in their potential to succeed.

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive)

I love all of our values, but the value “supportive” resonates with me the most. Our staff works as a team and, as a floater, I feel welcomed and supported in every classroom throughout New Story Schools Monroeville campus. As a team, we all work together to support each student's individualized needs. 

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role?

First, I check my email to see where I may support that day. I attend various classroom meetings, meet with Academic and Behavioral Support staff mentees, and meet with classroom staff and support as needed. I have helped with our community-based learning programs by taking students to Spectrum Fudge, the library, and food bank. As a floater, I support around the building as needed and love being able to pair with students that I may not have had a chance to otherwise. I reinforce students utilizing our token economy system and often get guidance from the classroom teachers on student expectations. 

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?

I attended college majoring in Art Education. I then worked as a support staff and teacher in many preschools around the Pittsburgh, PA area. I moved on to managing a fun and fitness center for kids, later transitioning to managing a retail store for three years. I really missed working with students and reached out to my cousin who had worked as a teacher here at the New Story Schools Monroeville campus. I decided it was time to move on and try something new, so I applied to the campus. I had lots of support and guidance from our Behavioral Consulting team here and made sure to ask lots of questions. 

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?

I was thrilled to become a full-time floater and help create the Academic and Behavioral Support Staff Mentor Program. I hope to continue to develop my rapport with both staff and students throughout the building, and this role allows me more opportunities to do so.

What is something about you that not many people know?

Most of my colleagues already know this because I used this answer for many of our team building meetings. However, others may not know that I resided in a boat house on the Allegheny River for the past nine years of my life. I enjoy minimal living with a beautiful view, but just this month I have finally got an apartment on dry land with a closer commute to New Story Schools. I am greatly looking forward to this new chapter.

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