Angela Elles, MFACommunications and Educational Partnerships

    Angela has been a team member of Ginn Group Collaborative (GGC) since 2013. While teaching post-secondary courses for Ivy Tech Community College, she worked as GGC’s consulting copy editor and proofreader, supporting finalization of all of GGC’s collateral, including promotional and marketing materials, press releases, grants, and PowerPoint presentations, for both print and online distribution. In reading those materials, she fell in love with the SMART Model and the history of the Model’s academic impact.

    In 2019, Angela transitioned out of teaching and began her full-time role with GGC as Director of Communications. In that role, she now works closely with the GGC CEO to lead the execution and the creation of all GGC and SMART marketing, communications, and engagement materials for public and private sector stakeholders, including annual reports, white papers, investor updates, press releases, social media accounts, website content, talking points, memos, one-page summaries, and the SMART newsletter “Snap Shots.” Additionally, she supports the planning, communication, and curriculum training for the annual SMART Symposium and Congressional Briefing, as well as the SMART regional retreats. As a part of the SMART Implementation and Operations team, Angela supports the Phases of Preliminary Due Diligence, Business Planning, and Start-Up Operations for all new SMART Clinics. In collaboration with GGC’s Director of Educational Partnerships and Philanthropy, she leads and supports the marketing and engagement (collateral and events) elements for parents, students, schools, and the medical provider partners that are required to open and maintain new SMART Clinics. She frequently attends SMART site visits, traveling to support stakeholder engagement, business planning, and staff training. As the senior communications professional, Angela manages and oversees all design and marketing images for SMART, GGC, and the SMART Foundation.

    As a teacher, Angela frequently observed secondary students not performing to the fullest of their ability, despite drive and willingness to excel, due to underlying causes that were not obvious or that she was not in a position to address. With her knowledge of the SMART Model, she could clearly see how having a SMART Clinic in the school that could proactively screen students for those risks to their academic achievement would relieve teachers of that concern. She was also inspired by knowing that students in SMART schools could partner with the SMART Clinic staff and be empowered to improve their own health and wellbeing allowing them to be more present, physically, and emotionally, in the learning environment of the classroom.

    Her passion for working to expand the reach of the SMART Model as a normative asset in schools across the nation is fueled by her understanding from the educator’s perspective that through the SMART Whole Child Wellness Assessment, student barriers to academic achievement, once identified through the Model, can be mitigated.

    Recently, Angela has again integrated within the local school system, helping students learn skills to personally combat the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 closures by leading interactive yoga classes. As a support to her local community, Angela served as the Chair of the Women’s Giving Circle Board of Jefferson County, Indiana, for four years. She also served as Secretary of the nonprofit Madison Youth Unlimited, where she helped fundraise and oversee the construction of the Hargan-Matthews Playground and revitalize the Madison Sport Court for public recreation, which was subsequently gifted back to the City of Madison.

    Angela earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Hanover College and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Spalding University. Angela has a combined 10 years of secondary and post-secondary teaching experience, most recently at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, in the areas of Advanced Placement English Literature for secondary students and Introduction to Literature of Critical Thinking, Health and Wellness, Life Skills, Reading Strategies, Composition, and MLA formatting.