Forging Connections: QHS Alumna Champions Positive Education and Mentorship for QPS Students
Tracy (Crist) Bugh ’88 has spent her career in education, holding roles as a teacher, coach, mentor and reading specialist.
“Education has always been a top priority in my life. I was raised by two teachers who always emphasized not only the opportunities that were available within education, but also the opportunities that become available because of education,” said Tracy. “I love the when the ‘lightbulb comes on’ whether I am working with students or adults. Being involved in education allows me to help others be their best selves.”
While she is no longer teaching in the classroom, her current position within Quincy Public Schools may be making the largest impact yet. Tracy’s is a Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) District Coach. As a PBIS Coach, Tracy works with staff across the district to help develop and implement plans to support students and staff in research-based, effective ways to support those with social, emotional, and behavior needs.
Within this role, Tracy also gets the opportunity to administer the Child-Family Mentor Program in the district. Through her work with the Child-Family Mentor Program, Tracy connects some of QPS’s most vulnerable and at-risk youth with an adult mentor from the community. The student and mentor meet weekly, and these meetings provide the student a consistent adult role model. The goal of mentoring is to provide students with the confidence they need to be successful in school and to succeed in life. In addition, this confidence helps students grow in the basic skills of reading, writing, and math.
The Child Family Mentor Program is especially near and dear to Tracy’s heart. She has been overseeing the program for the last seven years, and has been an active mentor herself during most of that time.
“Being an mentor has been such a rewarding experience! The opportunity to be a part of these young people’s life has been so uplifting and invigorating for me,” said Tracy. “Some mentors say that the program has more effect on them than the mentees. The mentees look forward to their mentor time each week and grow in their confidence and self-esteem.”
Though the program was created before Tracy took on the role, the Child-Family Mentor Program has flourished under Tracy’s guidance. But, even with dozens of successful mentor/mentee relationships, there is still room for growth.
“At this time, we have 175 mentors serving nearly 500 students with 20 students on a waiting list. My dream would be that the waiting list of students needing mentors disappears and that as a community, we invest in our future by supporting our children who would benefit most from an adult role model.”
Interested in becoming a mentor?
“Becoming a mentor is easy! If you can commit to 30 minutes a week for a minimum of 2 years, complete an application and agree to a background check, then you will go through a short orientation and get matched with a waiting student.”
To learn more about the Child-Family Mentor Program, contact Tracy at 217-228-7158 x2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.