Melissa Canney will step down as director of operations of Rocking Horse Community Health Center’s Madison branch to take a new role as student support specialist with London City Schools.
“I’m moving on because I feel like I have a new mission,” she said Wednesday evening.
Canney was integral to the success of the Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic from its creation 10 years ago. The free clinic utilized volunteers to provide medical care for uninsured residents.
As executive director, she oversaw the clinic’s recent absorption into Rocking Horse, which utilizes significant grant funding for operations and offers expanded hours and services.
“We now have a long-term sustainable model in place for the free clinic so it could be around forever and also grow and expand and serve more people with the new operating model,” Canney said.
Her last day at the clinic will be Dec. 11. Her first day with the school district will be Dec. 17.
In her new role, Canney will focus on mental health and educational well-being of students, particularly at the elementary level. She will essentially serve as a liaison to connect at-risk students and their families to resources available in the community.
Canney relishes another opportunity to provide direct care while also taking a macro-level view to determine what services are lacking in the community, she said.
School board members worked to develop the position last year and first posted the job opening this spring.
“She’s a natural fit for that position,” superintendent Lou Kramer said. “We’re very happy to have her in that spot moving forward.”
The position’s elementary level emphasis is designed to provide a solid foundation, Kramer said.
“If we can take maximum advantage of those elementary years and meet those needs, we can set them up for success at the middle and high school levels,” he said.
The elementary school also does not have a guidance counselor. Canney will likely pick up some of those duties in the course of her work, he noted.
The Dec. 17 start date was selected to give her time to transition in order to “begin in earnest” when students return from winter break in January, he added.
London City School board members approved hiring Canney at their meeting Tuesday night. The full-time position pays a $60,000 salary.
Canney served on the London City School Board between 2003 and 2013. She stepped back into the role in April when friend and then-board member Dr. Martha Geib died.
Canney resigned in October. Matthew Congleton, who was elected earlier this month to fill the seat in January, was appointed to fill the remaining two months of Geib’s term.
He attended his first school board meeting as an official member on Tuesday.
Reach Audrey Ingram at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or on Twitter @Audrey.MP
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