André Monney

MA in Educational Studies: Educational Policy and Leadership (LEADPOL)

Student Status: Alum, graduated 2016, pursued the program full time

Geographic Region of Origin: San Mateo, CA

Previous Education: Notre Dame De Namur University, Belmont, CA - Single Subject Teaching Credential Math, 2012. University of California Riverside, Riverside, CA - Bachelor of Science, Business Administration, 2007.

Prior to Joining the Program

Prior to joining the program at Michigan, I was teaching math and coaching wrestling full time at Burlingame Intermediate School (BIS) and Serra High School, respectively.

Why the Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) Program? 

During my years at BIS and Serra, I was exposed to a lot of great teaching and coaching, but also noticed that there were a small percentage of students who were not connecting with the larger community. Most of the these students fell in the low-income category and usually lived farther away from our school. I felt the need to find ways to include these students in the school community and support them in and out of school. To most of my peers, it was assumed I needed to be an administrator in order to create school-wide change for these students; however, I had zero aspirations of being a principal or vice principal. I wanted to be the best teacher and mentor I could be to my students and with that mentality, I found the ELP program at Michigan.

My intention in pursuing graduate school was to develop myself holistically as an educator, and find out how I could create change within my room and then carry that out into the school. What drew me to Michigan was the fact that I could take core courses in the ELP program and also branch out to take other courses in the School of Education and the School of Social Work. The former allowed me to learn more about the school system, while the latter gave me knowledge and skills to develop a stronger community with my students.


My internship was with Wolverine Pathways and primarily focused on planning for their inaugural summer math program. During the spring term, I spent a lot of time planning out the curriculum, the message we wanted to convey to the students, the goals for our teachers to accomplish, and the training we'd run with our teachers before the summer program started. After my internship ended, I got the chance to continue working with Wolverine Pathways and learn more about the program itself. I was extremely fortunate to work with Maisie Gholson, Dana Davidson, and Rob Jagers.

Individualized Course of Study

Courses I chose included:

Any of the courses with Barry Fishman, Barry Checkoway and Camille Wilson. Sports and Social Work was also a hugely impactful class that I got to continue doing research with Barry Checkoway.
My work with Barry Fishman and Barry Checkoway were some of the best work I did over the course of my studies. With Dr. Fishman, I got the chance to learn a lot about educational technology and also how to utilize it more with my undergraduate groups. This allowed me to fine-tune some of my ideas before going back into my own classroom. 

I'm also very passionate about sports and the effects of sports on my students. My work with Dr. Checkoway was extremely valuable in that I was able to explore more about what "good coaching" looks like, how it connects to teaching, the types of mentorship experiences that can run concurrently with a sports program, and what a well structured sports program looked like. I found a lot of great information that I could use in my upcoming years in the workforce. 

Highlights of the Michigan Experience

The most value element of the program was that I was able to create my own learning experience with a supportive group of professors. Each professor is extremely generous with their time and willing to help you explore the content and your ideas at deeper levels. Beginning from the time I was accepted into the program, everyone was willing to help me: from finding a place to live in Ann Arbor, to recommending classes, to checking up on how the program was going. Coming from California, this support system was huge for me.

Life after U-M


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The reason I pursued the program was to develop myself as a leader and thus better engage my students who were not connected with our community. Most of these students did not live in our district, were low-income, and were historically low performing. Many had been misunderstood and needed for their teachers to simply get to know them.

Using information I learned in the program, I worked with my school to implement a few mentorship groups that worked at the school and community levels. Participating in the groups allowed the students to form meaningful connections with their teachers, which in turn helped teacher provide the students with extra support. 

André invites prospective students to contact him with any questions about his experiences in the program and student life.