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.
Adrienne Washington ~ K-1st Grade Specialist
Ms. Adrienne was born and raised in Detroit. She taught Preschool for Hartford Head start for twenty years. She's been an Enrichment Specialist for seven years. She taught character development, health and nutrition, cooking with children, and arts and crafts. She enjoys cooking, eating, group activities and spending time with her five grandchildren. She used to be at Quest Academy, and now she recently joined WCA.
Yulissa Casique ~ 2nd - 4th Grade Specialist
Ms. Yulissa is from Southgate, Michigan. This is gonna be her third year with M & M and she couldn’t be any more excited! She graduate at Henry Ford College in 2021 with an Associates degree in Pre-Elementary Education . Ever since she was young, children has made her happy. She has experience with children since she has babysat from a young age & has been in Youth Clubs/Church Teen Leader. She loves to be part of the M & M Team to make new friends, new discoveries, new adventures & most of all, educate & have an amazing time with students! In her spare time she likes to be with her family and listen to music and go to the gym. She is pleased to be able to share her passion for education with M&M students and help empower them to create a better future.
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
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.