Alumni Spotlight

Groves Academy in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, featured Hillside alum Colin Roney as teacher of the month.

Colin Roney has been a teacher for 11 years, and six have been at Groves.  Prior to teaching, Colin went to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.  He received his Undergraduate Degree in Elementary and Special Education in 2000.  He receive his Master’s Degree from Duquesne in Instructional Technology in Education in 2001.  Colin has also taken credits through the University of Alabama – working on a second Master’s Degree!


Article featured in Groves Academy Newsletter


In the past six years Colin has taught, and been a support staff, in several different ways.  When he first came to Groves he was hired to be a support counselor and also taught a section of high school math.  After two years of that role, he transitioned into being the Project Based Learning teacher (PBL).  He also coordinates the After School Activities Program and during the summer, is the Summer School Principal!

What does Colin do outside of Groves?  He said, “I have many hobbies and interest.  I actually just got back from a once in a life time Moose Hunt in the BWCA, so I am a big outdoors kind of guy.  I love to hike, camp, fish and go hunting with my bird dog Murphy.  I also enjoy snowboarding and surfing when I visit my brothers in Florida.  I am very into sports and love basketball and football.  Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my wife Clare and our son Cole who is 1 ½ years old.  He keeps us super busy and we love to go on weekend adventures.”

When asked what was something unique about him that people may not know, Colin said, “Something unique about me is that I have a Learning Disability too.  I grew up in Allentown, PA (outside of Philadelphia) and I went to a special school just like Groves called the Hillside School.  I had an extremely tough time reading and writing but with the help of my teachers and parents, I spent four years building my skills so that I was able to mainstream back to my school of choice.  I did very well in school from that point on.  I was able to “reach” my dreams and I owe it all to my parents and Hillside.”

What are Colin’s favorite things about Groves?  He said, ”I am certain that PBL is the most exciting and enjoyable class to teach here at Groves.  I love my job, I love the students and I look forward to all of the hands on projects we do each day.  I love the Groves community – the students and staff.  I love what Groves does for students and families and the huge impact it has on their lives.”

An inspiring story?  Colin said, “I was inspired by my PBL students last year with how hard they worked to get the Gala Project Done.  We were asked to make an additional set of Adirondack furniture and within a month my class turned out the additional ten piece set.  The accomplished this without complaining and was able to raise $15,000 for the school.  They were extremely proud to help raise that much money and I couldn’t have been more proud of their hard work and leadership.”





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