Award Info & Nomination Link
The JCPS Difference Maker Award is presented to district staff members and community partners who've gone above and beyond to serve our students, staff members and schools. Difference Makers are individuals, teams or groups who have made (or are making) a difference in our district. Nominate a Difference Maker here!
JCPS will thank all Difference Makers nominated, and some, like those pictured below, will be recognized monthly at the JCPS Board of Education meeting. We love to spotlight Difference Makers that are tied to each of our three organizational pillars: Learning, Partnerships and Stewardship.
APRIL 2018 DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Michelle Gregg, Simonsen Resource Teacher
Mrs. Gregg (pictured here with Simonsen Principal Ben Meldrum and Superintendent Larry Linthacum) was nominated by Brenda Tish-Haller, the mother of one of Mrs. Gregg's students. Here's what Brenda had to say:
“Mrs. Gregg recently sent me an email regarding the progress my son, Joey, is making in her classroom. It was such a joy to read as a mother, and a prayer answered! To have been given so much positive in all of the negative that is going on in mine and Joey’s life these last 5 months, it literally brought me to tears (happy tears). Couldn’t have come at a better time also!
You all have been such a boost that Joey has needed in school this year, and I so pray that our next 3 years will be as smooth, but they have BIG shoes to fill (in my opinion).
We all know Joey has his moments and sometimes it can be frustrating; however, Mrs. Gregg, as well as the rest of the team at Simonsen this year have been so encouraging, communicating and patient, Joey has made amazing strides!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart - Simonsen Rocks!!”
Kaleb Tuinstra, Nichols Career Center student
Kaleb was given the task and challenge of creating a hand/arm device that would help an elderly stroke patient. The device was created using our 3D printer and Kaleb was able to take the finished product to the patient to see the benefits in action. Teachers Matt Yeager and Linda Heckman (pictured here with Kaleb, along with NCC Prinicpal Sharon Longan and Superintendent Larry Linthacum) provided the avenue for Kaleb to be able to Connect the Mechatronics curriculum with a real client. It was extremely fulfilling to everyone involved to see how these individuals partnered together to solve a real world problem that truly made a difference in someone else’s life. But the story doesn’t end here. With the press NCC received on this topic, other people have reached out to our Mechatronics program for assistance. And Capital Region Hospital is exploring a partnership with us as well. So, Kaleb’s efforts initially touched the life of one patient , but who knows how many people can be helped as this as the foundation.
Kaleb is the president of our SkillsUSA Chapter, and has participated in numerous community service events such as Operation Bugle Boy and volunteering at local elementary schools. He has also been tutoring since the 6th grade helping students who struggle with math. Kaleb is the real deal when it comes to making a difference in our school. We are so proud of him and the partnerships he has fostered to enhance not only his learning but the learning of others.
JCPS Maintenance Staff
I would like to nominate the entire staff of the JCPS Maintenance Department as a Difference Maker team. I continue to be proud and impressed with the dedication of the staff of the maintenance department. They always answer the call to assist with facility issues no matter the time of day or even on weekend and holidays. They often give of their time with their families to ensure facilities are ready each day for staff and students.
I am particularly impressed with their dedication to snow removal. Often this work requires them to come in early in the morning, weekends or holidays, in less than optimal weather, and they always respond. Their dedication and attention to detail in this effort helps, much to the disappointment of students and some staff, to minimize the impact weather can have on the school year.
With eighteen schools, and various other support facilities, the entire process takes three to four hours to complete. Often if the work is done during the week the staff works their full shift for the day to help minimize other interruptions to the learning environment that may arise.
Pictured: Director of Facilities Bob Weber, Tom Wolken, Vernell Ferguson, Maintenance Supervisor John Moon, Jeb Rush, Superintendent Larry Linthacum, Kyle Perkins and Dave Eiken.
To view Difference Makers from the previous month, click here. Or, you can find an archive of all past honorees on the left side bar/menu of this page.