Jerry Lawrence returned to City Year in the summer of 2013, after teaching 7th and 8th Grade English as a TFA AmeriCorps Member in Baltimore. He served as a City Year AmeriCorps Member in Washington, DC in 2006-07 and a Senior AmeriCorps member in Los Angeles in 2007-08. He currently leads the United Way of the National Capital Area Team at Kelly Miller Middle School.
“As a Program Manager (PM), I believe that I have 3 major responsibilities. First and foremost, I have to put my team in a position to push student achievement forward through observations, usable feedback and continued professional development. Secondly, I try to develop corps members. I believe that every corps member deserves to leave City Year with a skillset that is transferrable across industries and sectors, so I rotate leadership on events and initiatives that we push in the school to give corps members a different experience than their flagship service. Lastly, I have to manage the relationship between City Year and the school administration, and that means checking in with leadership and working with teachers to see how corps members can be most effective.
As I close out my first year as a PM the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that when people are bought into a mission, almost anything is possible. Moving forward, I think it is important for any PM to understand that we are managing people. The same things will not inspire everyone, and it’s our role to find what inspires our corps members and operate from that space when working with them.
As a City Year alum and former teacher, I’m very happy to be back with City Year because it gives me the chance to fuse my corps experience and teaching experience to have larger impact on students.”
Jane Horstmann served as a Program Manager during the 2011-12 school year leading 2 teams of AmeriCorps members at Malcolm X Elementary School and Garfield Elementary School. She moved into a new role in the summer of 2012 as a Senior Learning and Curriculum Manager. In this role, she leads a team of 3 Senior AmeriCorps Members and works with other City Year staff members to provide a year of professional development and learning for our 156 AmeriCorps members serving in Washington, DC this school year.
“As a program manager, I had the unique opportunity of collaborating with principals and teachers to think strategically about how to leverage corps members’ skills and experiences. My teams had an enormous impact on the school climate. From day one, their thoughtfulness and creativity made the school a more welcoming place. At Garfield Elementary, they planned two service days, an off-site leadership retreat for students and leveraged reading programs to help the school significantly increase their DC CAS scores. It’s challenging to coach corps members to work more effectively to drive student achievement and family engagement, but it’s also incredibly rewarding the be able to see the results for many years following. Although I worked as a program manager two years ago, the skills and experiences from that time are at the core of my work today.”
Matt Zittle became a Program Manager in the summer of 2013 after his two years as a City Year AmeriCorps Member at Browne Education Campus from 2011-12 and as a Senior AmeriCorps Member at Leckie Elementary School from 2012-13. He currently leads the Capital One Team at Leckie Elementary School and the Serve DC Team at Hendley Elementary School.
“Joining City Year has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life, but little did I know that after my two years of service I would be making City Year a career. I chose to come back as a Program Manager because I wanted to grow in my leadership while helping others grow in theirs. I work with a variety of people from students and corps members all the way to principals and board members. To be successful in this position one must be able to observe, negotiate and compromise while being flexible and efficient with all those you work with. It has been difficult working with so many external partners while balancing two teams, but it has allowed me to see a different side of City Year and provided me with a new found respect for what goes in to making this organization great. I have learned a lot from this year, and am looking to grow even more as a leader when I return next year.”