Where There is Mrs. Snyder, There is a Way…

At Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), we take academic support for our scholars so seriously, we employ a grant writer, Mrs. Pat Snyder. At our tuition-free K-8 elementary school, we look for every opportunity to take advantage of the many grants and programs that the state and federal government fund for education. As you can imagine, this involves paperwork, heaps of it, but that doesn’t stop Mrs. Snyder from devoting her days to it so that she can help our scholars. If visions of stacks of paperwork make you break out in a sweat, don’t worry, she also hangs out with scholars, shares hot chips, and connects over conversation every day.
PACE Academy teacher, Mrs. Snyder takes a selfie with three students flashing the “Peace” sign.

What do you LOVE about PACE Academy- what sets it apart from other schools?

PACE Academy is a warm, safe, loving environment. We have a top of the line curriculum that aligns with state standards. Parents want the best for students and if they need help, we will help them. I want the best education for students in order to prepare them for whatever choices they make in their futures.


Please tell us about your background and how you came to be at PACE Academy.

I have a MBA and Masters of Educational Leadership. I joined the Edison Project in 1995 at Mt.Clemens, Michigan. This was a challenging project due to community discourse and there was a complete refurbish of curriculum with a lot of professional developments. In March of 1999, I became the Project Manager of Edison Oakland Public School Academy in Ferndale. In 2004 I became the Area Financial Manager for a region of schools. When Edison discontinued managed schools, I stayed with Ben Ross PSA for a year and moved to Plant Moran to assist schools with their financial systems. In 2013, I returned home to PACE Academy. 

The students and teachers are my focus here. I want them to have equity in materials, instruction and professional development for teachers, and as much supplemental instruction needed to improve academics for our scholars. PACE's state and federal grants provide a healthy amount of funds to pay for supplemental instruction and materials.

What do you love most about your role at PACE Academy? What is the most challenging?

My role is to find grant money to buy things for student instruction. But I get to have lunch with students and find out what they need, what they want out of life after PACE, and see how funny, thoughtful, and genuine they are. My biggest challenge is having too many students for lunch!

I truly love my job and truly look forward to coming to work. 

Tell us about some of the programs you’ve helped with and/or created for PACE Academy.

We have basketball, cheer, volleyball, track, twirling, dancing, art, and intervention. Intervention, a program where we invite students with low test scores and grades to two days per week intensive work, is paid for with state and federal funds and supports students in an after school tutoring program. We are currently working on getting a science and coding program. The grants fund after school tutoring to strengthen academics. The other programs are funded by parents, but fundraising supports students who have severe economic needs.

There are so many great Social Emotional Learning programs at PACE, what’s one you really like?

We have a morning “shout out” of students. These may not be your typical best behavior students, but they were observed doing the right thing. It is heartwarming to see students get recognized for something good!

What does a day in your school life look like?

I arrive at about 7:00 am and stop by the cafeteria and pick up my eighth grader that would rather hang out in my office than the lunch room. We chat and I ask if their homework is done. They go to class and I commence my day with emails, grants, orders, etc. (i.e. paperwork!). At lunch, a couple of scholars stop by wanting hot chips. If I have some, I give them to them and send them off to lunch after a brief discussion about school or home life. The rest of the day goes on (more paperwork!) until dismissal. There is never a dull day in school!

Tell us about an activity you’re involved in at PACE Academy.

As a member of the school improvement program we meet once or twice a month. We examine data: academic and social-emotional. We talk about academics in the classroom and intervention. Parents, teachers, and administration are involved. We cover Science, Social Studies, Reading/ELA, Math, Social Emotional Issues and Family Involvement. As a team, we design next year's school improvement plan while monitoring and "tweaking" this year's plan.

Aside from connecting with students, what do you do for fun?

I read a lot, but Harry Potter is still my favorite series. As for TV, I like anything on the Discovery channels especially history or science. I am very eclectic with my music- anything from Rock to Jazz to Classical and Lizzo or Beyonce to Jon Batista.

Learn more about our grant writer, Mrs. Snyder, and all of our great teachers and administrators at our close-knit and engaged tuition-free school by calling us at (248) 569-1060 and enroll today!

About PACE Academy 

Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth graders in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!