Maybe you need to explain something complicated. Maybe you want to help students learn about geography or coding or getting into college. Maybe you want to start people talking about housing or homelessness or how to help veterans. Or maybe you’ve got a big idea that you need turned into words. Steeple-jack Consulting can help.
Steeple-jack is Mary Bourguignon. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my family. I hike and bike a lot. And I spend a lot of time helping people get their ideas down on paper, on the web, and in the classroom.
I’m not a real steeple-jack. I won’t show up at your office with ropes and ladders and expect to shinny up to the roof to check on its condition. But I am nimble with words. And I’m good at polishing ideas your ideas so that they shine from the distance, clear and true as a spire.
Research, writing, and editing
In terms of credentials, I’ve got degrees in English from Northwestern University and Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Over the years, I’ve researched, written, and edited all sorts of reports, many on technical subjects. I’ve developed curriculum materials on the global economy, postsecondary preparation, and 21st century careers. I’ve written extensively on low-income housing issues, helping frame housing solutions for government agencies, non-profits, and foundations. And when the writing is done, I’ve helped clients communicate through web sites, blogs, and social media, and turn words into action with creative outreach strategies.
I’m often hired to help community members and elected officials research policy problems and come up with solutions. I’ve analyzed data about homelessness in Seattle to help us understand who is homeless and what we can do to help. I’ve studied academic achievement and the strategies that help schools and students excel. And I’ve worked with communities around the country to help low income students get admitted to postsecondary and then succeed once they start.
I developed a series of lessons to help students take advantage of college and career planning opportunities across Washington State, from skills centers to scholarship match. I wrote the Navigation 101 curriculum to help students make clear, careful, and creative plans for life after high school. And when Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry began conducting oral histories to document the way people work in 21st century Washington, I turned their project into a high school curriculum series, creating 45 case studies that help students explore careers in high tech, international trade, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Web and Social Media Content
On the web, your words travel the world. My words quite literally traveled the world, as I created the content for the Boomerang Box geography education web site, which tracked the journey of a brightly painted, 40-foot long cargo container that carried goods from port to port, and, along the way, won national and international recognition. I also created the words for Explore Apprenticeship, an interactive exploration of opportunities in the trades for middle school students. And I helped the team at School Kids Come First harness the web to raise funds for students in need.