Welcome back to the POP QUIZ! This is a regular, yet totally unexpected, feature where we ask students, parents, staff, our friends, and partners to answer a few questions about what they are learning, reading, and thinking about. Today we feature Missy Best, CIS Site Coordinator at our newest site, Northeastern Elementary School. Prior to her work with CIS, she lived in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and was a Human Resources Generalist for Fabiano Brothers, a wholesale beverage distributor. During this time, she got her associate’s degree from Central Michigan University. When her husband, John, was transferred to Kalamazoo, she and their daughter, Isabel (now an 8th grader in the Kalamazoo Public Schools), naturally followed. “My favorite aspect of human resources was working with people. I wanted to do more of that.” Approaching the move as an opportunity for growth, Missy applied to WMU School of Social Work. “I ended up doing an internship with CIS in 2010 and I never left you guys.”
In our most recent CIS Connections, Missy contributed a great article on the important skill of organization. You can read that here.
Alright, Missy: pencil out, eyes on your own paper. Good luck.
What is something interesting you’ve recently learned? It’s creepy. You still want to know?
There are more living organisms living on your body than there are people in the world. [Missy shivers. So do I.] I have a happy one, too. I discovered that there is actually a radio station that plays Christmas music from October to New Year’s Day. It’s become my go-to. It’s hard to have a bad day if you listen to Christmas music, like Frosty the Snowman. I know it’s early and I might be burnt out on Christmas by the time it gets here, but right now it works for me.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished The Silkworm. I can’t say enough good things about it. J.K. Rowlings—who wrote the Harry Potter series—wrote it under the pseudonym Robert Galbraithl. It’s part of her Cormoran Strike detective stories for grown ups. It is really good. Lots of humor. I now plan to read The Giver. My daughter, who attends Maple Street Magnet Middle School, is reading it for school right now.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
You already are.
I wish. Every day I realize how much I don’t know. I rely on my instincts in a lot of situations. I wish I had all the answers.
What is your favorite word right now?
Tenacity. It’s fun to say. It’s fun to spell. I just have to keep reminding myself to be tenacious, to keep on chipping away at a problem until it erodes away.
Behind every successful student is a caring adult. Who has been your caring adult?
My grandma. When I was young, I spent all my free time with my grandma. I can honestly say she is one of the few people who truly believed in me. Always. No exceptions. If I had an idea, she didn’t tell me it was stupid. She asked questions, she encouraged it. We had conversations; real conversations. My opinion mattered. Grandma Z—the Z stands for Zeoli—was a very unusual woman for her time. She contracted polio when she was young but still managed to become educated. She worked as a teacher even though her parents wanted her to become a nun.
She sounds like she was a special lady. Who is your caring adult these days?
Without a doubt, my husband. He’s my best friend. He was my best friend before we married and someone who still is. I’m really lucky.
CIS—and the three hundred plus students at Northeastern—are fortunate to have Missy and a fabulous team of caring adults—like Principal Vanessa Carter, Secretary Tonya Orbeck, Title 1 Achievement & Behavior Support Specialist Judy Moran, the dedicated KPS teachers and staff, Kids Hope mentors from Second Reformed Church, parents, and many others. Go Northeastern!
Tags: Central Michigan University, CIS, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Fabiano Brothers, J.K. Rowlings, Judy Moran, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Kids Hope, Lois Lowry, Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts, Missy Best, Northeastern Elementary School, Robert Galbraithl, Second Reformed Church, Site Coordinators, The Giver, The Silkworm, Tonya Orbeck, Vanessa Carter, Western Michigan University, WMU School of Social Work