Posts Tagged ‘MPS Alumni Reunion’


Call it another exclusive.

Since 2016, the Milwaukee Public Schools has been doing an intuitive of a thing called Rethinking High Schools. Part of this is engaging a group of folks that know the feeling of that previous work, the Alumni.

Us Alumni in the MPS world have been long forgotten in terms of the Students, Staff and Parents whom seem to be the bulk of Milwaukee’s largest school district. In 2015, there was a meeting at my old high school about this intuitive, and it was good to see the various ideas then to flow. But until 2016, as we knew, that changed a step further. It changed with the first MPS Alumni Reunion in which many of the MPS High School attended the Bradley Center and greeted by the dignitaries, and even Mayor Tom Barrett.

From there, we even had a Alumni Summit in discussing about our Alumni Associations and various ways to reach out. Plus even we discussed about the name changes of the schools, such as why John Marshall High School became “Morse*Marshall” and the reasons behind it. Not a very good one by the way. Even we discussed about those wanting to start an Alumni Association or Foundation that involves commitment from those that want to keep them open and active. We also had networking series events, Alumni luncheons/picnics as well as Panel Questions/Answers at the MPS Headquarters.

That was in the first two years since the idea was launched. And it worked.

Callout: Now the question is: why does this matter? Why now this idea? And also why didn’t we didn’t get this treatment when we were coming up in MPS?

This should matter to a point that the MPS Alumni Forever Family is part of the community. We are in our careers, families, activities and yes we do hold our titles to a prompt thought. We have been long forgotten in other means, but I think it’s time to celebrate us no matter where we are.

Why now this idea, you asked? Again it’s about us. If we can celebrate our kids and parents of the Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as teachers, principals, staff workers, recreation in all, even other schools; this also SHOULD include the Alumni. Many of us whom are alums probably have connections to MPS in some point based on experience, lessons and also support. As former students.

And why didn’t we get this treatment when we were coming up? Easy answer. It was never thought about. It was never indicated to the times that we had those great times in High School and frankly it was never invented the thought that MPS should create an Alumni Group for every alum that has graduated from Milwaukee’s largest school district.

I mean if the Colleges and Universities can do this, and they do this a lot as we know based on the mailings, emails, Social Media Posts in all, why not Milwaukee Public Schools? I mean we got successful alums in medicine, politics, journalism, science, architecture, business ownership, ministry, and many more areas of work we are currently in. We know this very well.

And I have to say that yes, MPS has problems. MPS has issues. And MPS has concerns with the Teachers, Staff Workers and most of all: our Kids! As an alum of the district, yes I recalled that MPS had concerns about Me. But however as I looked back, even though I had to highs and lows from grades to activities. And a one time suspension from fighting of being provoked and bullied in High School. Overall, I survived being a Milwaukee Public School Student. And I’m sure that many had survived that as well. The thing is many forget that yes, there are good things that MPS provides. And there are bad things. Just like the real world. Do I think about the bad things about the District? All the time. But I also remember the good as well.

So what can I expect at this new year of the Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni thing? What can I expect this year overall even more?

First I think that the idea must flow and continue into every single Milwaukee Public High School Alumni Association and Foundation. Period. They are the foundation for the MPS Alumni and hopefully they are the way to get those whom are engaged, stay engaged.

Second, the younger alumni must work! Like every group from Churches to Organized companies, even Alumni groups must need to have young folks. This is an Achilles Heel in all groups. If we want groups to survive, it’s the need for the younger alums to continue. Now I heard they don’t do Alumni Council Meetings, or be at a Reunion full of older folks. But what do they really want to see? They are MPS Alumni folks too and they need to be at the table voicing their ideas to support. For you younger MPS Alums between 18-35, we need to hear you. We know this is not your thing, but still we need to hear what you have to say. Seriously. Fill us in! There was talks about an idea of having their own Reunion Get Together. Have them! Organize it. But the seasoned vets would like to stop by and give you some tips to keep the Alumni ship going. Hear them out of respect.

And also: this needs to be said, if you say you would to come out and do this and that, and don’t put in the work, that is a problem! Regarding reunions, events and planning. Take notes, young Alumni!

Back in 2011 when my old high school was about to turn the golden age of 50, I was selected to be a new board member at 34 years old. And the date: May 2nd, 2011. 7 years to the date. I’ve worked my way up the ladder and I’m still learning. Plus I serve as a treasurer. I take pics and go to my 90’s reunions and share those whom are not familiar with that decade to give them some insight of who we are and what we did. And here is the kicker, for a while, my Alma Mater’s Alumni group never had anyone from the 1990’s to represent as a board member. But that changed in 2011 when I joined. Again, at 34 years old. And I’m from the Class of 1995. Go figure.

Now for all those that escaped from Wisconsin to go to Texas, Georgia, Illinois, California, New York, Tennessee, or even overseas. If you’re just now looking at this, and still asking what this is, and you are living in your new digs, and still are just wondering what this is: yes you’re missing out! But you can still support your alumni groups.

If I were one of you, I would go to this site right now: www.mpsalumnihub.com

This is the website for the MPS Alumni that has all the information in regarding the reunions, profiles, Alumni Directory, and other events.

Another is social media. If you haven’t killed your Facebook Page or Twitter handles you should be following them via MPS. Including Instagram.

Plus since many in the Alumni has a JOB, and likes to DONATE, this is an idea from one of my uncles who is an MPS Alum: “If I don’t come, I will donate!” I urge you the transplants of the MPS Alumni (as well as living in the state) to donate to the MPS Foundation or even donate to your Alumni Associations/Foundations to whatever area of the school you want. For example, if I lived let’s say…..Utah, and I’m just now reading about the MPS Alumni stuff and I can’t make it to a Networking event, or the Alumni Reunion due to distance in all, I would EXTREMELY donate to the cause of music of my Alma Mater or MPS! And I remember being in Band Classes back in the day. I’ll either send in a check or pay online. Why is that so hard? It’s not! You pay your bills online in all, right? You tithe online to your church, right? Why not this?

Folks, newsflash: It’s not rocket science.

One of the things about the ongoing suggestions that if you are going to be apart of this, it needs to be pushed and examined.

Pushed as to a point to let those know of what is going on in their Alma Maters. I’ll bet many others are asking, “How is the school now after 30 years since I’ve been gone?” Or “Does the school do drill squads, or music?” “Does it still have a football team?” Or, how can we the Alumni support this cause of Education of the school? We know this. We hear it all the time!

Examined as an example to preview and attempt to take part in some sort or many capacity. Now a days, when folks hear about certain events, or groups, they need to see it. Show the receipts, as the young folks would say. If a person that is interested in their Alma Mater Alumni Committee, and/or the MPS Alumni Hub to support or partake, I think he or she needs to see what’s going on. I think they need to ask questions, get information about the status of the Alumni Groups, even if they never heard of one. I think all Alumni Groups needs to have meetings, specifically interest meetings with the Alums to get a clarity of who they are dealing with. From the Chairperson, President on down. They need to see faces, and shake hands. And yes, Skyping.

They also need to go out into the community, particularly the school’s community to the events or meetings and support ideas of fundraising or services. If it’s for a Football Team, or a Jazz Ensemble it does not matter. Even if it’s a bake sale or a Open House, go and do it. Let them know that you (the Alumni) are here to donate your time and money to support this cause. The faces will lit up! Trust me. Many schools do have websites, and again Social Media Pages. Feel free to explore them! If they have an alumni page online, check that out also! If they have an Alumni Badge Lapel or shirt, wear that everywhere you go! Also let the future Alums know at their graduation ceremonies, and grad parties!

Even if you hear about a class reunion or another some sort of get together announcement, see if you can attend and get a table for the Alumni Association.

*Sidenote: Alumni Associations/Foundations, you might want to update your online pages to keep current of the news and contacts. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!!!

This is an also an idea: If you are an MPS Alum that is out of state, and the MPS Alumni Reunion is going on, take a pic of yourself with the school colors/MPS Alumni Lapel Pin. Let them know you represent the school district that gave you your first break! And it doesn’t matter where you are working. Even send a video message!

If you are in the working world and a MPS Alumni Member, guess what? You can network! You might want to do that to keep potential and future alums engaged in the company you are working in. Colleges do it all the dang time! Even network with clubs and organizations like Fraternities and Sororities. Veterans Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Elk Clubs, American Legion Family, Toastmasters, and more. How many of the MPS Alumni are in these organizations? And still active?

*Second Sidenote: If you are asking about a milestone reunion or a ideal reunion, and heard nothing back about it, you need to organize and also get assistance from the Alumni Association/Foundation. That goes for everyone!

Finally as I close, with the 3rd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion is coming up on Mother’s Day Weekend, I hope that the ideas would continue to flow beyond the event. I know that there will be pics taken and memories added. And contacts made. However, after the event is over, I also hope that the event would encourage others who have not yet came out once to actually try. This is still a young event, but eventually it will grow and be successful. And it has to start with the foundation of us Alumni to begin the engagement!

Plus I’ll save a piece for the Class of 2018 after they graduate!