October 06, 2021
City Schools Leader Named Community School Coordinator of the Year
Tanier Webb recognized for incredible efforts for the Hazelwood community
City Schools has more than doubled the number of community schools since 2019. These schools offer comprehensive services based on the whole child approach to education, with a focus on academics, health, youth development, expanded learning opportunities, and family and community support.
At the core of each community school is a full-time Community School Coordinator — a staff member who creates meaningful partnerships and leverages the varied resources of the community to support students and families and eliminate barriers to student success.
On August 13 at the 2021 Maryland United 4 Youth Conference, Tanier Webb was named the Community School Coordinator of the Year for her incredible work on behalf of the students, families, and staff of Hazelwood Elementary/Middle School!
MOST Network and Maryland Mentor, the nonprofits that organize the conference and award, received nine nominations for Tanier — by far the most for any nominee. Here are just a few quotes from those nominations:
— “She builds relationships with everyone by just being her naturally outgoing self. She talks to everyone and somehow figures out a way she can help them.”
— “She removes the barriers to education so that students and families can thrive! She is a blessing to all of us.”
— “She truly loves helping others. It's her gift, and it comes with a cost. She spends her personal time helping others. She carries this job home every day.”
After graduating from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Tanier's passion for her community led her to AmeriCorps, then a supervisor role at Youthworks — the city program that connects thousands of young people to summer jobs with private, nonprofit, and city and state government employers.
She started volunteering a few days a week at Hazelwood. Then 5 days a week. Then 7. Finally, she accepted the offer to be Community School Coordinator.
Nominations highlighted Tanier’s work in creating a food pantry for the school and community as well as her efforts to connect students and families to needed medical resources.
“Being named Community School Coordinator of the Year is so exciting,” says Tanier. “It’s wonderful that people are acknowledging the hard work we do as Community School Coordinators. I feel like this award was won by all Community School Coordinators. And I feel like the entire Hazelwood Elementary community are winners, too: scholars, families, and staff — they support and trust me, and I can share that with others.”
The nominations’ greatest praise was for her work during the toughest days of the pandemic when she picked up and delivered food from various food banks to families in need as well as cleaning supplies to families with sick household members.
Tanier also started the Teddy Bear and Blanket Donation Drive to help comfort scholars who lost family members to COVID. The upheaval of the pandemic also disrupted the living situations of a number of students. Tanier assembled personalized transition bags — filling them with comfort items, snacks, and goodies she knew would help the students adjust to their new environment.
“When a school becomes a hub to support the entire community, kids have the resources they need to help them become successful adults,” says Tanier. “The pandemic really impressed upon us the importance of this work. In difficult times, the connections and partnerships and whole-child approach are essential.”
“I stress to the kids that they can’t just accept the gifts, they need to volunteer as well. Once you know how to advocate for yourself — navigate challenges, apply for jobs and schools — help the next person. That’s what I see every day: kids showing leadership and putting what they’ve learned and their experiences to work helping others.”
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