By Ed Pierce
When it comes to helping students realize their potential and pursue their dreams beyond high school, there is nobody better at it than Lorraine Glowczak.
|Lorraine Glowczak is in her third
year as the Director of Community
Connections for RSU 14.
“I was told once by a fellow colleague that I am a dream maker. And I would have to say that assisting students through the Extended Learning Opportunities to explore and discover their dream jobs is by far the best thing about my job,” Glowczak said. “That, and I love to connect with people from all walks of life and it's been fun connecting with new people, businesses, and entrepreneurs in this and other surrounding communities.”
In her position, Glowczak engages community members and local businesses in the schools to support student needs by providing opportunities to be involved with the school district in multiple ways. She collaborates with multiple stakeholder groups in productive ways, including administration, teachers, and PTA/PTOs, participates in local community networking organizations and community events.
Glowczak also uses print, social media and other communication tools to engage the community with the school system, develops and maintain ongoing relationships with area businesses and nonprofits willing to host students for volunteering, job shadowing, and internships, meets with students and assists them in the process of completing Capstone Project and ELO requirements. As an ELO coordinator, she’s a point-of-contact for ELO students, teachers, and community mentors, internships, and job placements, including follow-up with supervisors and hour documentation. To go with that, she develops curriculum for students receiving elective credit as approved by ELO Team of certified teachers or principals and finds business partners to act as mentors for students for job shadows, internships, and volunteer opportunities.
“The most challenging thing at this point is trying to balance my work between the high school while also meeting the needs of the whole school district,” she said. “The biggest misconception is that I work only for the high school.”
She grew up in Nortonville, Kansas with a population of about 700 located in the Northeast Corner between Atchison and Topeka in Kansas.
Graduating from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies, Glowczak worked as a substitute teacher, and at a number of preschools.
“I worked for a STEM Enrichment organization as a workshop, after school program, summer camp, and preschool workshop instructor. I was also an Outreach Coordinator for RSU 14.”
She has a passion for writing and storytelling and that led to her working as the Managing Editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper before she took a position with Be The Influence, a community coalition seeking to eliminate drug misuse in the community.
“My previous job was a work from home job, and I realized that I really enjoyed being with people more,” Glowczak said. “As I was looking for a good fit for me, a friend suggested that I look for jobs as a community connector since she thought I did a good job doing that. So, when this job was announced I applied and was offered the job.”
It turned out to be an excellent fit for her as Glowczak’s congenial disposition and outgoing personality relate well with students and the local businesses she lines up to give students a taste of working in different professions are grateful to be able to help and work with her.
“My husband is proud of my position here with the school district and what he loves most about my job is meeting my students at school events,” she said.
According to Glowczak, many people aren’t aware that RSU 14 offers extended Learning Opportunities for students.
“The public may not know that my position exists and, as a result, they do not know that they can reach out to me for volunteer needs and for job opportunity requests,” she said.
Her most memorable moment of working for RSU 14 so far is difficult for her to pinpoint.
“There are too many moments to share but all those memories pour in each year when the seniors graduate,” Glowczak said. “I've learned so many things but one of the most important things I've learned is that most GEN Z students are more aware, knowledgeable, resilient, and enthusiastic about life than they are given credit for. Each generation offers some important contribution to society, and this generation is no different.” <