We're delighted to introduce Andy Sonnesyn, our new manager of strategic resource development for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), which is a joint appointment between Achieve and MPS. In this role, Andy works with MPS staff to coordinate and implement all private sector funding activities that support MPS strategic priorities.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Andy attended Saint Olaf College and moved to New York for graduate school. He came to Achieve from the New York City Department of Education, where he led postsecondary policy and program initiatives.
We asked Andy to reflect back on his time as a student, share some favorite memories and talk about what attracted him to working at Achieve:
What was your favorite class in high school and why?
I really enjoyed all of my history and English courses. I have always loved to read, write and engage in discussion, so those classes were fun for me.
Did you have a favorite teacher or other adult who made a big difference for you? Who was that person and why?
My senior year history teacher Mr. O'Connor at Southwest High School. He treated students as his peers in learning and always made us feel valued and respected for our contributions.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I don't think I had a set job in mind, but knew that I wanted to do work that supported young people, public schools and the city of Minneapolis.
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with your teenage self, what would you say?
I would tell myself to be voracious in seeking out new interests, experiences, and communities.
What interested you in working at Achieve?
Attending Minneapolis Public Schools was a formative experience for me as a student. I'm enthusiastic about doing work that makes it a more innovative and equitable district and my position at Achieve allows me to do just that.
What do you like most about working at Achieve so far?
I've been really moved by the kindness of Achieve and MPS colleagues and their incredible dedication to students.