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Building Strong Teams: Welcoming Our Newest Addition

Marissa Rowley

The last several years have been very exciting at Mayerson Academy! Our team has remained committed to our values as we find new ways to design and deliver extraordinary learning experiences that help individuals and organizations be their very best, every day. As our work continues to significantly expand programmatically and geographically, we are extraordinarily excited and honored to welcome the newest member to our MA team, Marissa Rowley.

Marissa is an award-winning educator, having been recognized as “teacher of the year” and garnering “star teacher” accolades in former roles. Marissa has also amassed impressive project management accomplishments. She served as a middle school teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina and has held national and regional leadership roles with Teach for America. In her role with Mayerson Academy, Marissa will join our team of highly committed experts serving Cincinnati Public Schools.

We had a chance to connect with Marissa prior to her first day to get to know her a little more:

MA: Tell us a little bit about yourself (interests, hobbies, family, etc.)

MR: Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland and a proud Musketeer, I have lived in Cincinnati for 10 years collectively. I spent some time teaching English Language Arts in Charlotte, NC. I spent some time teaching English as a Foreign Language in Hangzhou, China. Most recently, I was an instructional coach for new teachers throughout the Southwest Ohio region.  Currently, Pleasant Ridge is home. I love hanging out with my husband, Travis, and watching our two little girls, Ella (1) and Layla (4) grow up. When I have some spare time to myself, I do enjoy watching HGTV and dreaming about ideas to renovate our house if money was no object. My guilty pleasure is International House Hunters, as it combines my love of travel with my love of looking at real estate. 

MA: What excites you most about joining the Mayerson Academy team?

MR: There is so much that excites me about joining the Mayerson Academy team! The two things I am most excited about is the team and leading with strengths. First, each interaction I have had with every individual at Mayerson has been nothing short of positive. The positive culture and the love for the work and each other shines through. I am lucky to join such a great team. Second, I’m excited for the work I will specifically take on through Thriving Learning Communities. The idea of putting the individual strengths of the classroom community members at the center of classroom culture is essential. To be able to help teachers, schools, and districts identify strengths, build upon their socio-emotional learning practices, and provide tools and coaching to see the vision come to life really gets me jazzed and I am honored to take on this work. 

MA: What are the most important skills and lessons you’ve learned in your career in education that you will bring with you into this new role?

MR: The common theme throughout any professional or social commitment I have had is: Does this help us become better versions of ourselves? Whether through coaching teachers or teaching kiddos in Title I schools, I have always believed my teachers and students should walk away from our time together being better versions of themselves. In order to do that, it is essential to understand the values and the strengths of each individual and develop it, rather than putting my own values and my own strengths on my teachers and students. Too often, I have seen tension and classroom culture take a turn when we place value or judge others’ strengths, rather than hold each strength up and spotlight them. I am excited to have a common language through Thriving Learning Communities in which to talk to teachers, schools, and districts about the importance of making better versions of ourselves.

MA: What are your top character strengths and how do you anticipate using them in your work at MA?

MR: My top character strengths are fairness, kindness, judgment, teamwork, and love. While they all are distinct strengths, for me, they are not a top strength without the other four. Fairness for me is rooted in equity and diversity work. To help teachers empower student voices through understanding of their strengths will build towards an equitable and diverse classroom. This is coupled with judgement, which will allow me to see challenges and situations from all sides to make sure the vision for all stakeholders comes to life. Kindness + Teamwork + Love are inseparable for me. Although it is professional work, I must be doing something that I love – which includes working toward something that matters, alongside people who are kind and loving. Mayerson Academy is the place where I can use and grow my top character strengths. 

MA: Any hidden talents?

MR: I really like singing Second Soprano in choir. I like the challenge of finding the dissonant harmonies. #choirnerd

Welcome to the team, Marissa!

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