Family Advocates Bios and Locations
The Family Advocate at your scholar's school is a "liaison" between families and school. The Advocate's primary function is to connect home and school in a positive, respectful and welcoming manner. Family Advocates may be responsible for a number of engagement activities aimed at increasing student achievement, school culture and climate, as well as, attendance.
Family Advocate: Derrick Freeman
Contact Information: (269) 965-9773
Mr. Freeman is originally from Detroit, MI., but moved to Battle Creek in 2014 and began working with Dean Transportation as a bus driver. He has excellent customer service experience having worked in diverse environments including volunteering in nursing homes. He is recently married and is attending KCC to secure his Elementary Teaching Certification. Mr. Freeman has a love for helping people and enjoys working with children and families.
Family Advocate: Patty Gray
Contact Information: (269) 965-9720
Ms Poole-Gray returned from the Detroit area and was a guest teacher for Battle Creek Public Schools for three years. She is widowed, has a Bachelor of Science, a degree in Business Management and has been a Family Advocate for three years.
Family Advocate: Monique Altman
Contact Inforamtion: (269) 965-9725
Ms. Altman is thankful to have joined the LaMora Park Elementary family and has learned quite a bit, so far. She looks forward to doing what she can to make students and families feel connected to LaMora Park because she knows together, "...we can make this school year awesome!"
Family Advocate: Mikael Westry
Contact Information: (269) 965-9693
Ms. Westry is married with four children, ages 9. 8. 7, and 1. She enjoys working with youth in the school setting, as well as in her church as the Youth Choir Director. She is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work with families and looks forward to meeting and working with all of you this school year!
Family Advocate: Christina Soler
Contact Information: (269) 425-1411
Mrs. Soler has been the Family Advocate at Valley View Elementary for two years. Before becoming the Family Advocate, she was a parent volunteer, lunch supervisor, and a sub secretary for several years in the same building. She is a wife and mother of two daughters who attend Valley View Elementary. Serving as the Family Advocate was a natural fit as she loves to assist at the school and support families.
Family Advocate: Melissa Butler
Contact Infromation: (269) 965-9710
Melissa Butler has been the Family Advocate at Verona for three years. Before becoming the Family Advocate she was a parent volunteer. Mrs. Butler is a wife and mother of two.
Middle School Advocates
Family Advocate: Timeya Gray
Contact Information: (269) 965-9607
Ms Gray became a Family Advocate during the 2017-18 school year and is also the founder of Tenacious G.E.M.S. (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Services), which is a mentoring program designed to empower girls to become successful in their future endeavors. She is very active in the community, is an engaged parent, and is looking forward to connecting with Northwestern families. She is also a wife and mother of three children, two girls and one boy.
Family Advocate: Cori Ignatovich
Contact Information: (269) 965-9640
Ms. Ignatovich has been a Family Advocate for several years. Before becoming a Family Advocate, she was an engaged parent. She began serving at Valley View Elementary and joined the Springfield Middle School team during the 2016-17 school year. Ms. Ignatovich also leads the robotics team as Springfield Middle School, is the mother of three Battle Creek Public School students and is an engineer.
High School Advocates
Family Advocate: Kellie Thomas
Contact Information: (269) 213-3500
Mrs. Kellie Thomas joined the BCCHS team as the Family Advocate during the 2017-18 school year. Before becoming the Family Advocate Mrs. Thomas was an engaged parent connecting with school and community trhough BCPS school board, boosters, PTA and as a parent volunteer. She is a wife, mother of three and grandmother of two. This work is a natural fit for Mrs. Thomas because it is what she loves to do. According to Mrs. Thomas, "there is no better feeling in the world than being recognized by the students you have helped". She loves putting smiles on students' faces!
Family Advocate: Niaka Dunbar
Contact Information: (269) 965-9671
Ms. Dunbar began serving as the District Family and Community Engagement Coordinator during the 2015-16 school year, and the Family Advocate at W. K. Kellogg Preparatory High School during the 2017-18 school year. Ms. Dunbar served as a secondary Social Studies instructor, at South Hill Adacemy and Michigan Youth Challenge Academy, for thirteen years. Niaka is a proud 1996 BCPS graduate, entrepreneur, mother of two and engaged parent. Her entire career has been dedicated to ensuring those she comes in contact with have the resources needed to realize their dreams. She looks forward to learning and growing along-side staff, students, parents and caregivers.