Our Team at Fortis Academy

Tara Ball ~ Operations Manager / Site Leader

Tara has been with M & M since 2009 and also began as an Enrichment Specialist. But with Tara’s extensive experience and expertise in School-Age programming, it was clear her role was to include so much more. Tara is instrumental in providing high quality care at M&M. Tara is a valuable coach and leader to all Specialists, Site Leaders and even the Administrative Team. Tara will often step into a classroom to cover a shift, to help train a new specialist, or even just because she LOVES working with the kids! Tara’s greatest love—planning and working summer camp! And now she is our new Site Leader at Fortis.

Mia James~ Kindergarten Grade Specialist

She has been working with infants-middle school aged children for about two and a half years. She goes to school part time at a community college. She is majoring in early Childhood Education. She has always had a passion for working with kids and helping them grow. She is the oldest grand child of seven and has been working/watching kids for about 12 years. She loves googling fun craft projects on pintrest with her kids.

Charniece Taplin ~ Second & Third Grade Specialist

Ms. Charniece, known as Ms. Char, is currently a Junior at Eastern Michigan University, she is studying Neuroscience. Her end goal is to become a behavior therapist and work with children from all different backgrounds. She loves long walks on the beach.

Brooke Bilbrey ~ Third & Fourth Grade Specialist

Ms. Brooke is currently a junior at Eastern Michigan University and she is studying elementary education with a focus in integrated science.  She also really loves art!  You may see here at either Fortis or South Pointe Scholars Academy.  She helps out at both schools in varying classrooms.  Her favorite part about working with M&M is of course the kids.  It is so fun getting to know all of their unique personalities and they truly brighten up her day!  When she is not at school or work she likes to be involved with her sorority, paint, spend time with family, or just relax!

Christina Kollias ~ 

This is Ms. Christina's first year with M&M and she is super excited. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2018 with a Bachelors in Social Work. She will attend school to receive her masters in Social Work and become a school social worker in the future. She enjoys spending time with her 3 dogs, family and friends, as well as outdoors in the sunshine.

Jena Rushton ~ Customer Care Specialist

Jena started as an Enrichment Specialist with M&M in 2013 at South Pointe Scholars. A year later, Jena helped M&M Extra Care grow, as the new Site Leader at Grand River Academy. In 2015 she became our Customer Care Specialist. Jena’s bubbly personality can be felt through the phone or email and she is loved by all! Jena recently had a life change and moved to Atlanta, but thanks to the wonderful world of technology, she has been able to remain, to help families navigate the registration, billing, and scheduling practices of M&M. 

Madonna Mrocca ~ Owner

As the owner of M&M Daycare, Inc., Madonna has been providing care for children since 1995. As a parent of two children who attended NHA Schools, Madonna understands the important role that M&M Plays in providing a quality school-age program. She believes that each child shall be treated as an individual and will have caring professionals provide a safe, nurturing environment. Additionally, independence, exploration, and a feeling of self-worth will be encouraged and opportunities for social-emotional growth, recreational activities and educational learning will be provided. 

What kind of background checks are performed?

As a  Licensed Childcare Program, all staff must complete comprehensive background checks, which include fingerprinting, FBI, CPS, DHS and State Police record searches. The State of Michigan administers and provides the systems for these checks.

What kind of training do the Enrichment Specialists and Site Leaders complete?

Many of our Enrichment Specialists have completed or are pursuing degrees in Education or other Child Related fields. All Staff are required to participate in ongoing Continuing Education throughout the year. Although the minimum requirement of licensing is 16 clock hours per year, all M & M Team Members are required to complete at least 24 clock hours annually within the following Core Knowledge Areas: 

  • Child Development  
  • Teaching and Learning  
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition   
  •  Observation, Documentation and Assessment  
  • Family and Community Engagement  
  • Interactions and Guidance 
  • Management 
  • Professionalism 
What do we expect of our Enrichment Specialists?

It is imperative that our specialists play an active role in lesson planning to provide a diverse and enriching experience in before and after-school care. Time is provided for the Enrichment Specialists to prepare for their day with supplies and planning for at least 30 minutes prior to and 30 minutes after the students are present.

We expect our Specialists to develop relationships with their students and their families, to promote a safe and nurturing environment and to foster a supportive partnership with the parents or guardians in the role of caring for each student.

What do we expect from our Site Leaders?

Our Site Leaders are there to provide support to our staff, the students in our program and to their parents. On a daily basis, they monitor Enrichment Specialist classrooms to ensure that our specialists are meeting or exceeding our quality expectations. The Site Leaders work closely with the enrichment specialists to establish that they have quality lesson plans which include a variety of educational and social activities. The Site Leader also maintains the flow of communication between M & M  Extra Care and the school sites, speaking to teachers and other school staff about how we can work together to best support the students in our care. 

Site Leaders also work with the students to help them remember the moral focus and help encourage positive behavior choices.

Additionally, Site Leaders are  present to provide support and resources for our M & M Parents, working with them to guarantee that their student is given the opportunities and activities to keep them engaged and involved during the before and after-school care program.