Meet Mrs. Mehall
Andrea Mehall is excited to be back in Holland Public Schools for her fifth year serving as director of Holland Early College.
Mehall, a former high school science teacher, started at Holland Early College in summer 2014, shortly after moving to West Michigan from Phoenix, Arizona where she was faculty at GateWay Early College High School. Her husband, C.J. Mehall, teaches for the College of Education at Grand Valley State University. He also coaches the HHS football team. The couple lives in Holland, and has two young children. Their oldest son attends HPS.
“I was the type of kid who always loved school,” said Mehall, who grew up in the metro Detroit community of Southgate. “I’d assign my friends homework, when I played school, and they actually did it.”
She considered a pre-law major when entering Central Michigan University but eventually realized that teaching was her passion.
The Early College program where she taught in Arizona was a publicly funded charter high school housed inside Gateway Community College. This teaching assignment ignited a passion for Early Colleges, as she saw the impact that this opportunity had on students and their families.
By design, Early Colleges are all about bridging the gap between high school and college, for students who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. It's about access and opportunity. These core principles align with Mehall's personal and professional focus, centered on equity and social justice.
“Parents see the value of this model and say they wish this had been an option when they were in school,” Mehall said. “In five years of high school, students can earn their diplomas and associate’s degree – or apply all those college credits to a four-year degree – without paying tuition. Students definitely see the value in getting a jump start on college, they see it as an important stepping stone to reach their goals.”
Mehall and her team at Holland Early College have much to celebrate in the short time the program has been in place, and they look forward to continued program growth and success in the future.
"The program at Holland Early College is challenging, but we offer high levels of support, and together we will continue to accomplish great things."