To help educators support all student learning

Trainer helps educators implement Check & Connect intervention

Joseph Angaran always knew he was going to be a teacher. He loved everything about school: the setting, teachers, learning, and the extracurricular activities. (Young Angaran even admits to “playing” school, that is, whenever his family and neighbors would tolerate it!) You could say he was destined to play a role in educating young minds, yet even he couldn’t grasp the extent of his influence beyond the classroom.

Angaran’s father, Merco, made an indelible impression on his son. “My father showed us that working hard was the best way to show the world who you were,” he reflects. This work ethic served Angaran well early in his career when he was a classroom teacher needing to demonstrate perseverance, diligence, and reliability to his students to best support their education.

“I truly value tenacity. Whether one calls it ‘persistence’ or ‘stick-to-itiveness,’ tenacity demonstrates a long-term commitment that is applicable to many areas of life, both personally and professionally.”

Today, Angaran gets energy from guiding other educators through the process of implementing the Check & Connect student intervention model. “There are some amazing, committed adults who are willing to work long hours to ensure all students are engaged with school and with learning,” he says. “To see and hear them strategize, plan and care so deeply about their students is to witness a wonderful process that has the potential to positively affect many young lives.”

Joe Angaran talking to Eileen Klemm
Photo of Angaran speaking with Eileen Klemm.

By helping sites across the country get started with Check & Connect, Angaran and his fellow educators are focusing on our country’s most at-risk students. Re-engaging students who are at-risk of dropping out has profound consequences for students and the communities in which we all live. It is a fact that high school graduates lead healthier lives, are less dependent on government assistance, less likely to be involved in criminal activities, and more likely to volunteer in their communities too.

Photo of Joe Angaran doing a Check & Connect training
Photo of Angaran doing a Check & Connect training to a group.

But Angaran sees even broader benefit for his latest role in the education field. “Students should be academically and emotionally competent by the time of graduation. That becomes even more important after graduation, whether they choose to enroll in college or vocational school, enlist in the military, or join the workforce. These same individuals will be our neighbors, raising families, and voting in our elections. It’s in everyone’s best interest that we work towards creating generations of competent, confident, and informed citizens, and Check & Connect can play a vital role in this process by keeping our students engaged in school and with learning.” Spoken like a true teacher, still committed to making a difference. 

Contact Information

Institute on Community Integration

102 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-624-6300 | F: 612-624-9344

ici@umn.edu

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