Director of Inclusion: Mr. Kyle McElvany '2005
The Director of Inclusion for the St. Andre Bessette Open Doors Inclusion Program is Kyle McElvany, a 2005 graduate of St. Mary Catholic Central and a graduate of the University of Toledo, with a Bachelor of Science degree and Masters of Education degree. Mr. McElvany has experience as an Intervention Specialist in both Ohio and Michigan. In 2010, he began his career in the field of special education as a paraprofessional working with autistic students at Swanton Middle School in Ohio while also completing the process of obtaining his licensure. He was subsequently a student-teacher for Toledo Public Schools and then became both an Intervention Specialist for T.P.S. and long-term substitute teacher for Anthony Wayne Local Schools before accepting a teacher/administrative role as a Lead Intervention Specialist and Performance Coach with Summit Academy Secondary Schools - a small, charter high school for students with special needs - in Toledo, Ohio.
Mr. McElvany then moved on to a role with Dundee Community Schools for a brief period before becoming the first Director of Inclusion for the St. Andre Bessette Open Doors Inclusion Program at SMCC in July of 2018. Reflecting on being the program director, he shares, "It has been surreal coming back to the school that has impacted me in so many ways throughout my life. I'm grateful to be a person who can say that I enjoy coming to work everyday and working with the students I have. The support from our administration and faculty is unlike anything I have ever been a part of. It has been rewarding to watch the program grow and see the effect it has, not only on our inclusion students but on the student body as a whole at SMCC."
In July of 2020, Mr. McElvany completed the Program for Inclusive Education (P.I.E.) graduate program at the University of Notre Dame, which is a one-of-a-kind program for educators who strive for inclusion in a Catholic education setting. In addition to his responsibilities at SMCC within the inclusion program, Mr. McElvany is also responsible for Physical Education and is a member of our varsity football coaching staff. Mr. McElvany is an experienced varsity football coach, serving as both an assistant and head football coach across Ohio and Michigan. Known as "Coach Mac," he is entering his 17th season of coaching at the varsity level and is now on the coaching staff at SMCC. He is married to his wife Stacey and is also the proud father of his four-year-old son, Jackson. Mr. McElvany is a member of the National Association of Special Education Teachers, an Executive Director for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association, and a board member for the American Football Coaches Association.
In August of 2020, the program expanded to 5 inclusion students and 15 peer mentors. "While we hoped that the program would grow, I don't think we ever anticipated growing this fast but this is what God has called us to do" according to Mr. McElvany. "I really commend our teachers who make the extra effort to not only accept but encourage our inclusion students to be apart of their classrooms. Our inclusion students have taken Chemistry, Psychology, Spanish, World History, Algebra to Geometry both in-person and online, plus the various online electives that SMCC offers. I am happy that they get the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of subjects that may not always be possible in a public setting."
In June of 2021, the program produced their first graduate, Jacob Goda, who was the first student in the St. Andre Bessette Open Doors Inclusion Program. "It is bittersweet" said Mr. Kyle McElvany, Director of Inclusion. "We have spent alot of time together and I have been blessed to watch him grow academically, socially, and in his personality. As much as it is going to sadden me to watch him go, I feel confident that he is going to go on to do bigger things. He has no idea how much of an impact he has made on S.M.C.C. I'm not sure that us as a school, has realized the impact he has made. Students like Jacob and our other inclusion students are going to leave a lasting impact on our school that will last longer after we're gone. I couldn't be more proud of him" said McElvany. As of July 2022, Jacob is entering his 2nd year at the University of Toledo within their inclusive college program. His favorite class is his "acting class" and his goal is to be an actor.
In May of 2022, the St. Andre Bessette Open Doors Inclusion program produced three more graduates, Ben, Zack, and Grace who we are proud to say are either pursuing full-time employment upon graduation from high school or enrolling in a post-secondary inclusive program. The "Open Doors Inclusion Program" is proud to state that they will be welcoming 7 inclusion students (in grades 5th-12th) in the next academic school year (2022-2023) in addition to over twenty peer mentors!
Mr. McElvany shares this message with the local community: "I encourage any family with a child with special needs who has dreamed of a Catholic education to dream big and consider SMCC. The extraordinary efforts that our teachers and amazing peer mentors are willing to undertake for our inclusion students is truly a living example of the Gospel."
Educators- for more information on the University of Notre Dame's "PIE" (Program for Inclusion Education) program, feel free to contact Mr. McElvany for more information or the University of Notre Dame's PIE Director, Mrs. Christie Bonfiglio at email@example.com .
To learn more about the Open Doors Inclusion Program, please feel free to contact Mr. Kyle McElvany can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-241-7622 ext. 187