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Kickstand for Special Populations

Pam Kies-Lowe State Coordinator for Homeless Education State of Michigan

Since 2008, Pam Kies-Lowe has served as the State Coordinator of Homeless Education Programs for the Michigan Department of Education, in the Special Populations Unit of the Office of Field Services. The program manages federal education grants to serve children, youth and families experiencing homelessness, provides training and technical assistance to over 900 public school districts in the state, collaborates with all state agencies working with low income and homeless populations and ensures the educational rights of these children and youth.

She has worked in the area of homeless education for over 20 years, having spent ten years as the Title I Family Involvement Specialist and District McKinney-Vento Liaison for the Kalamazoo Public Schools, developing the district’s program for homeless children and youth, and coordinating the regional McKinney-Vento Homeless Education grant. (She is quite accustomed to wearing multiple hats!)

Pam has also served as a consultant in the Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services at MDE, working in the areas of disproportionate representation of minorities in special education, the Reaching and Teaching Struggling Learners initiative, high school student support and intervention recommendations for the Statewide System of Student Support, and the State Board of Education’s Universal Education framework.

She holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Western Michigan University in Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Psychology. Her previous positions in education have included preschool teacher/director, sexuality education teacher and trainer, continuing education coordinator, and adjunct faculty at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Pam has presented at numerous national and state conferences and serves on multiple state boards and committees in Michigan.

Kickstand would like to congratulate Pam on being selected as the 2018 McKinney-Vento State Coordinator of the Year by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth!


Karen Roy Director of Special Projects Mecosta-Osceola ISD

Karen Roy is the Director of Special Projects for the Mecosta-Osceola ISD. Much of her work involves early childhood, family services, data analysis, grant writing, homeless education and community building. Karen has been working with Kickstand on projects since 2012 and has thoroughly enjoyed watching the company evolve and respond to the needs of teachers and students across the state.

Karen has four grown children and four grandchildren and numerous fur and feathered "family members". Karen resides in Grand Rapids with her cats and husband with whom she attends rock and roll concerts and likes to travel abroad.


Julie Ratekin Homeless Youth Services Manager Greater Detroit Area

Julie helps train local district liaisons on the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act. She works closely with homeless youth and families on their educational goals. Julie also oversees frontline staff and multiple programs while coordinating with local school districts in assisting youth gain access to services.

Kickstand would like to congratulate Julie on her 2018 selection as a new member of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth!

From a curriculum director's perspective, your response time is incredible. You blow other products out of the water.

Janelle S., Curriculum Director

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