Anna Brandes is Director of Professional Development on the School Programs team at Academic Approach. She has worked at Academic Approach since 2013 when she moved from her home state of Michigan to be a part of the city of Chicago and to make a broader impact on the education world. Since beginning at Academic Approach, Anna has taught many ACT Prep courses, led several professional development sessions for teachers in three different states, and continues to work toward positively impacting many of Chicago’s schools.
Anna attended Hope College, a small, liberal arts school in West Michigan. She played volleyball and ran track for four years while earning a B.A. in Mathematics and Education. Anna then became a middle school math teacher for at-risk students in Battle Creek, Michigan for four years while earning her Masters of Education. In 2013, Anna moved to the city to pursue a career at Academic Approach. She also had the opportunity to volunteer as a mentor for high school seniors, assisting them through the college application and decision making process.
Why did you decide to work in the education industry?
“Too many schools in low-income or urban settings are making excuses for our national achievement gap and our low graduation rate. Instead of making such excuses, I truly believe that we need top-notch teachers in all of Chicago’s schools – this is what will be critical in closing the achievement gap and improving the graduation rate. I am fortunate enough to be in a position with our School Programs team where I, along with many other passionate and hard-working individuals, am able to not only provide engaging and relevant professional development that fosters dynamic changes for teachers and schools throughout the city, but also am able to serve as a mentor for instructors within our company that provide effective, data-driven instruction to prepare high school students for college and beyond.” – Anna Brandes