Hello St. Lawrence County,
I recently moved back to the North County to accept the position of Youth Bureau Director for St. Lawrence County in March. This position allowed me to move back to my hometown of Heuvelton where I was a 1989 graduate of Heuvelton Central High School. After graduating HCS, I moved to the Midwest and attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I graduated in 1993 with a B.S. in Secondary Education. Since graduating IU, I worked for Huntington Learning Centers for almost 27 years serving in various positions such as Franchise owner and Center Director. For the past 12 years, I worked as Center Director for Huntington Learning Center in Oswego, IL. There, I managed a learning center specializing in supplemental educational services to students of all ages and grades from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I supervised programs which focused on phonics, reading comprehension, reading fluency, writing, math, study skills, and ACT/SAT programs. I also served as President for the Character Counts Coalition of Oswego School District 308 and was a member of the Oswego Foundation for Educational Excellence. (OFEE) I’ve always possessed great passion and motivation to help students reach their fullest academic potential. When students reach their academic potential, great things happen such as increased confidence, motivation, and pride.
I’m excited to bring this experience to the North Country. Growing up, I often heard that one of our greatest exports from the county were high school grads! It’s saddening when St. Lawrence County is so full of close communities with great pride, natural beauty, and its residents know how to come together and offer remarkable support.
I believe we start losing our youth when three things occur. Students lose sight of meeting their goals and ambitions when they are struggling academically, their social and emotional needs are not met, and they do not feel bonded with the communities in which they live.
As Youth Bureau Director, I will strive to be a supportive community partner with families, school districts, and community programs. I believe in concentrated collaboration and communication. Today, we are working with COVID 19 health concerns, social distancing, racial tensions, and disparity. Now is the time to get creative with programs and initiatives. Together, let’s provide our St. Lawrence County youth with vision and support. Perhaps, one day, they won’t be the biggest export or, like me, they will return to their roots of the majestic North Country!
Please like our Facebook and Instagram pages, and feel free to email or call me with questions, feedback, or ideas.
Alexa J. Backus