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Alumni, community partners contribute to student success at MPS

Washington HS Alumni ScholarshipSteven Brown, Janet Marino Donovan, Harry Oden and Linda Walsh are all proud alumni of Milwaukee Public Schools making positive contributions in the community today.

Their memorable MPS experiences, especially from high school, inspires each of them to be involved because they want current and future students to succeed. Brown, Donovan, Oden and Walsh are active with their high school alumni associations and encourage other MPS graduates to rekindle their school spirit to help today’s students.

“We encourage Marshall alums to volunteer their time in the school by being a mentor or tutor,” said Donovan, a 1978 graduate of John Marshall High School, now Morse-Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented. Donovan volunteers in many capacities including assisting graduating Morse-Marshall seniors with admission applications to UW-Milwaukee where she works as a department administrator in the college’s department of anthropology.

Brown is president of the Washington High School Alumni Scholarship Foundation. He wanted to make a college education reality for students, which motivated him to reconnect with his alma mater.  

GE Community Service Day“It is important to me to show current students they can succeed,” said Brown, who graduated from WHS 30 years ago and today works as senior global human resources manager for GE Healthcare.  

GE is an important MPS partner. Through its foundation, GE has provided millions in grants to support district efforts to improve academic achievement, while thousands of GE employees have volunteered time to beautify schools and mentor students. 

Oden and Walsh are North Division High School graduates; Oden in 1959 and Walsh in 1988.

Oden worked as an MPS teacher and administrator for 36 years, retiring in 2000. Besides working with the North Division Alumni Association, he mentors students and staff at the high school and helps wherever he can when called.

“I’m a strong supporter in public education, which is why I believe it’s important to stay involved,” Oden said.

Walsh, an active volunteer and mentor, added, “As an alumnus of North Division, it is important to support the school because I believe a strong network system brings about strong outcomes.”  

Photos: Top - Washington alumni provide scholarships to graduating seniors each year. Bottom - GE employees provide a day of service each summer, helping to beautify school buildings.

This story is part of a series appearing during American Education Week, November 15-21, highlighting the contributions made by alumni, community partners, school-based and secretarial staff, district support staff and families to help Milwaukee Public Schools in its mission to provide successful student outcomes.


Earl Arms, Media Relations Manager
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Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • Ninety percent of 2019-20 budget dollars go directly to classrooms;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86.2 million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to five of the state and nation's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

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