Sydney Hanlon & Andy Steketee

October 2016 KSSN Spotlight

For the month of October, we are shining a bright dual spotlight on Sydney Hanlon, our community school coordinator at Godfrey Elementary in the Godfrey-Lee Public Schools district, and her principal, Andy Steketee. Sydney has been with KSSN for just over a year, and Andy, who has taught for eight years with the district, is in his second year as Principal.

As a community school coordinator, Sydney works with families to ensure that students are in the building and are ready to learn. This sometimes means helping families apply for Medicaid, which allows their children to see a doctor or work with the school’s mental health clinician. Other times, Sydney may be leading behavioral groups and facilitating Second Step, an academic and social skills program. She also works closely with community partners to help bring in resources for the families.

As building principal, Andy says his number one job is making sure the Godfrey Elementary students are provided with a safe and high-quality education. “We do this by trusting the staff and believing in their abilities and talents. We want to make sure that all students who walk through the doors at Godfrey are equipped with the tools they need to be successful in the short-term and long-term future.”

When asked what their favorite part of the job is, Sydney says it is seeing the growth in students once they are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. “Nothing is more satisfying than to see kids change their behavior after being a part of one of our groups, or after working with the KSSN clinician.” Andy says his favorite part of the job is “interacting with happy kids each day, and also seeing the impact and the difference we make in each one of their lives.”

Sydney and Andy know that the work they do as a community school is having a huge impact. According to Sydney, “KSSN makes an impact by bringing professionals together to serve the students and families. Being able to connect them to mental health services, DHHS assistance, assistance with partners that can help with bills and housing, and our Spectrum Health partners, makes this a unique experience. We are able to think critically and reach more families using this approach. Families feel supported and comforted knowing that there is a team here ready to take on whatever they need help with.” Andy says that “Sydney does a remarkable job reaching out and finding resources within the community to help our students and their families. With our KSSN partnership, we hope to continue to build relationships with our families to let them know that we are all in this for the best possible reason--to help children be successful.”

When Sydney and Andy are not busy at Godfrey Elementary, you can find them indulging in one of their many pastimes. Sydney enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and dog, and getting ready for the arrival of their first child in February! Andy’s favorite pastimes are spending time with his wife and children, and playing basketball, golf, and occasional running. 

Sydney and Andy, you are an inspirational team that works extremely well together. Andy, you are an inspiring leader, and Sydney, you have a true passion for helping others. We commend you both and thank you for all that you do for the students and families of Godfrey Elementary!