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MAAP's 2017 Staff Member of the Year

MAAP 2017 Staff Member of the Year: Mike Myers-Schleif from McKinley-ALC
By Kathy Lyerly
Mike has been a teacher at ALC for 19 years. During those years, he has been not only an outstanding and creative social studies Mike Myers-Schleif teacher, but also a leader in activities that benefit alternative students. Mike has been involved in the Fall Leadership activity for many years. He has served in an organizational and leadership role as well as a mentor for students from McKinley-ALC who have participated in the activity.
You have also seen Mike at the MAAP Stars competition for a number of years. He coaches, mentors and supervises students as they prepare to compete, and has also taken on an increasing role in the organization and leadership of that activity. Mike has also been involved in the Youth Service Project for 19 of its 23 years. It is one of the longest running service projects in the state, and the longest service project between District 742 and St. Cloud Veterans Administration Medical Center. Mike is involved in fundraising activities, student recruitment for the program and planning activities for the events at the VA during the school year, as well as participating in the program while on site at the VAMC. 
The Youth Service Project is a program that pairs at-risk adolescents with area veterans in our community. This is a site that our students would rarely access and certainly not volunteer there without the program. He makes sure that participants are good students and citizens at school and that they truly understand what these veterans have given for our country. He does this in his classroom with students, but most importantly, models it while at the VA. Part of the program that was added is called “Vet Connection” where our students interview a veteran on three occasions during the school year. It is moving and often life changing for our students to hear their stories and creates a bond between our students and the veterans.
Mike is a teacher that has high expectations for students, both in his classroom and in the activities he is involved with outside of the building. Students have great respect for Mike, and he is truly influential in their lives. 
He stays in contact with students and many will come back years later to work with us at the VA or to simply visit Mike at school.
Mike deserves to be the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs Teacher of the Year.
Mike will be presented with his 2017 Staff Member of the Year award at the MAAP Conference in Mankato, MN on Feb. 8.