MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Our Excellent Educator award goes to a woman who makes sure kids have a classroom even if they don’t have a home.
Margo Hurrle has a big job. She manages the education of around 500 Minneapolis children a year who are homeless.
“It’s looking out for the children because the children had no part in where they’re living,” she said.
Hurrle is tasked with everything from helping parents get their kids registered to making sure they are equipped with school supplies.
“One of the things that students need to be a success is backpacks, school supplies, pens, pencils, crayons,” she said.
One of the most taxing part of her job is in the morning when she makes sure kids get on the right buses or even taxis in some cases.
“Buses, taxis, vans we get the children to school however we can,” said Hurrle.
Sometimes kids will stay in one shelter for a few days and then another. Hurrle’s mission is to make sure the kids never have to switch their school or leave their friends.
“Consistency is so important,” she said. “The families are going through times of crisis, a bad economy, having a shortage of affordable housing and it’s important for the kids not to have to feel any of that.”
What’s as impressive is Hurrle’s compassion when it comes to other students not seeing who is getting picked up or dropped off at a shelter.
“Oftentimes the kids are the last to get on the bus or the first to get on the bus for the privacy of the students,” said Daniel Gumnit, People Serving People. “If you’re looking for someone who has made an impact on thousands and thousands of children over 30 years behind the scenes, Margo is that person.”
Those children now line the wall of her office and some of them are now grown adults.
Katie DeSantis lived in a shelter three different times in high school won’t forget the lengths Hurrle went to take care of her.
“Margo made sure I was picked up first and dropped off last,” she said. “It meant everything to me, it meant that my friends didn’t have to know I was homeless.”
The former student has accomplished great things. She graduated summa cum laude from Gustavus Adolphus College, currently getting a masters at the Humphries School for Public Affairs. And she is currently working for Hennepin County’s office to end homelessness.