Academy Charter HS students find their mentors


LAKE COMO — A barbecue celebration was held on Friday, Sept. 8 as Academy Charter High School [ACHS] students found the missing pieces to their puzzles.

According to Mary Jo McKinley, director at ACHS, each school year, students are paired with a faculty “mentor” based on personalities and students’ specific requests.

At Friday’s event, students were given a paper puzzle piece and instructed to travel around the school’s gymnasium to find the teacher who their puzzle piece “fit” with.

Some students had already located their mentor, while others approached Ms. McKinley asking for hints or help in finding the perfect fit. 

“For me, it’s a great sense of getting to know children that I don’t necessarily teach in the classroom,” said Special Eduation English teacher, Amanda Matyas.

For Ms. Matyas, the mentoring program was also one of the draws of ACHS.

“It’s one of the reasons I came here. I love their sense of community,” she said, “It’s a special quality not every school has.”


According to School to Career Coordinator Sikaya Alston, mentors also help students stay focused in order to excel in their studies.

“[Mentors] make sure the student is OK for the day so they can succeed doing their academic work,” Ms. Alston said.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.