Changes coming to ACES as Poli joins talent push

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Matt Poli, current principal at Alternative Choices for Educational Success Academy, will move to Alpena High School in the fall to help with the district’s Marshall Plan for Talent grant.

ALPENA — There are a couple of changes coming to the Alternative Choices for Educational Success Academy staff for the 2019-20 school year.

Matt Poli, who has been the principal the past two years, will move back to Alpena High School for a role helping administer programs funded by the Marshall Plan for Talent grant Alpena Public Schools and neighboring districts received last year.

Poli was the principal at the high school for 10 years before moving to ACES in 2017.

Laura Stibitz, dean of students at ACES, is now the director of the school. She will officially start that position in July.

There will still be four teachers for the core classes — social studies, science, math, and English language arts — and one art teacher at the school.

In his new role, Poli will help students transition to life after high school

“I’ll be working with folks in the community, really talking with community experts and local businesses, figuring out what skills they would like us to really focus on, and figure out how that meets with us, develop the curriculum to do it, and then really kind of embed throughout the course of not just the high school, but throughout the course of K-12 instruction,” Poli said.

Poli’s new role will help close the gap between industries and schools. He will connect students within Alpena, Alcona, Hillman, and Atlanta schools with opportunities in the community, including summer internships.

He’ll also work with career navigators, who will be in the schools developing plans for students for possible career opportunities.

“I’ll be the other piece connecting the community and eventually creating the curriculum that meets with everything,” Poli said.

Alpena, Alcona, Hillman, Atlanta, and the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District were collectively awarded over $1.9 million from the state in December to help build students to be career- and college-ready when graduating high school.

The grant is for three years and the districts will see what the end result is through internships and school and community-based programs, Poli said. His role may change since this has never been done before.

Poli’s new role involves traveling and figuring out what is out there, not just in Northeast Michigan but throughout the state for the students. His office will be in Alpena High, but he won’t be there all the time.

“I won’t be attached to a school, necessarily, where throughout my career I’ve been working specifically in a school and now I’ll be working at a district level or state level,” Poli said. “It excites me, plus I’ll be able to work with Alcona, Hillman, Atlanta, and they really look for us to be able to provide resources and guidance for them, and I’m excited to do that.” Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.