Sirtify was first known as Black Men in Teaching when the program launched in Fall 2021.

If you are a student looking to apply to the program or you would like information on how to support Sirtify, please contact Sirtify Program Coordinator Marvis Kilgore at

Sirtify Program in the Media

Students Confirm Black Students Perform Better with Black Teachers. This Minnesota College Program is Targeting Black Men to Increase Their Presence in Classrooms (Atlanta Black Star, April 22, 2022)

Pioneers and Changemakers: Marvis Kilgore (City of Bloomington, April 8, 2022)

Increasing representation in K-12 classrooms (Community College Daily, April 6, 2022)

Normandale program works to increase number of Black teaches in Minnesota (Fox 9, April 4, 2022)

Normandale Seeking Students for Black Men in Teaching Program (KARE-11, February 23, 2022)

Great Expectations for Black Men in Teaching (Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, December 15, 2021)

At Normandale, Marvis Kilgore addresses dearth of Black Men in Teaching (Star Tribune, August 20, 2021)

The mission of Sirtify is to recruit and support Black, African American, and African men into Elementary and Secondary Education pathways.

According to data for the 2017-18 school year, Minnesota schools enrolled 97,669 Black/African-American students in all grades, but only 875 (1.4%) of Minnesota's K-12 teachers were Black.  Keenly aware of this gap, Normandale Community College has developed a program to recruit and help prepare Black men to be K-12 teachers.

The Sirtify program envisions a world where Black, African American, and African men have the tools, skills and support necessary to rewrite the negative narratives placed upon them by society. Our program seeks to empower black men in education to have a positive impact on all students especially those from similar backgrounds.  

Sirtify will provide:

  • Academic Support
  • Leadership Training
  • Professional Support
  • Cultural Competency Training
  • International Summer Experience
  • Professional Mentors
  • Tailored advising to ensure successful transition into a four-year program
  • Annual scholarship of up to $10,000 covering all tuition, fees, books, and supplies, plus a contribution toward cost of living

Sirtify Program Coordinator - Marvis Kilgore

"When I graduated from Dillard University I was confident and excited to go out in the world and make a difference. With all of the knowledge and confidence I gained with my experiences in college, my cup was overflowing in a positive way and I was ready to go out and change the world. That is the feeling I want to give to the young men who will be going through this program. I want them to gain the educational, cultural, social, and career preparation to be resilient so they can be change agents, champions and advocates for all students."

Marvis Kilgore is the Program Coordinator for Normandale's Sirtify Program

Kilgore is developing the Normandale's Sirtify Program, which offers academic, career, and personal support to Black, African-American, and African men starting their higher education journeys with a goal of becoming licensed K-12 teachers. 

Kilgore has been a champion of diversity and equity in the field of education both stateside and abroad. While serving in Teach for America, Kilgore taught elementary bilingual math and science classes to first generation Latin American students and middle school Spanish to a predominately African-American student body in Houston, Texas.

He eventually transitioned to higher education, teaching Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in the University of Houston system and at Houston Community College, respectively. Kilgore spent nine years in the Middle East where he served as an ESL Lecturer and Program Coordinator at the Community College of Qatar, the only community college in the region, and as an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Lecturer at a British higher education institution.Kilgore holds a B.A. with honors in Foreign Language Education from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a M.A. in Modern Languages from the University of Mississippi.