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.
MAY 2018 DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Melanie Fraga, JCHS Teacher, English for Speakers of Other Languages
Naturalization Ceremonies are one of the most meaningful and moving events held by the Federal Court. The 2018 Central Division Naturalization ceremony afforded the Western District of Missouri, U.S. District Court, with an opportunity to reach out to the Jefferson City community. This year the Court, in collaboration with the Jefferson City High School, held its annual ceremony at the Miller Performing Arts Center on April 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm. The event provided a hands-on experience with the citizenship process for students from Jefferson City High School’s English Language Learner’s class. The students, taught by Melanie Fraga, not only attended the ceremony, but participated by interviewing the new citizens and their families and by serving as Ambassadors to welcome the guests, assist with seating and serve refreshments. One hundred and two individuals from 46 countries finalized the requirements for American citizenship as they were administered the Oath of Allegiance. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool presided over the patriotic ceremony which included a presentation of the flag by students from the Fall 2017 Military Leadership Class of Jefferson City High School. These students also lead the new citizens in the pledge of allegiance, followed by the “National Anthem” sung by the Jefferson City High School Chorale. A special rendition of “God Bless America” was also performed by the chorus. Tania Lock, Deputy Clerk for the U.S. District Court administered the oath. The Rock Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution assisted with the program and provided small American flags to each new citizen. A reception for the new citizens and their guests was sponsored by Jefferson City High School and the Nichols Career Center Culinary Arts Program, following the ceremony. The Cole County Clerk’s Office gave new citizens an opportunity to register to vote and the U.S. Post Office offered passport information.
Melanie Fraga is pictured center with JCHS Principal Bob James (left) and Supt. Larry Linthacum (right).
Julie Martin & Vickie Wieberg, School Nurses
A very serious situation occurred at Lewis and Clark Middle School on May 1st. A student was having serious seizures. 911 was called, as he had a seriously low heart rate and difficulty breathing. Both Julie (pictured far left) and Vickie (pictured second from right) saved this young man's life. They remained calm, and kept him breathing until paramedics arrived. They knew what to do and did it under very stressful circumstances. "I truly thank God for these ladies," says LCMS Principal Sherri Thomas (pictured second from left). And as Gary Verslues, Director of Secondary Education, said, ”No state assessment can measure what you two did that day. You are more than Difference Makers; you are heroes!”
Faculty Council Members
In the fall we reconvened our JCPS Faculty Council. This group of dedicated educators meets monthly with Dr. Linthacum to learn more about district initiatives and to share their perspectives, as well as the perspectives of the building staff they represent. They have shared insights on a variety of topics this year including: diversity, reading initiatives, technology in the classroom and student behaviors. We appreciate all they do to support our students, their fellow teachers and of course our district.
Faculty Council Representatives for 2017-18 include:
- Belair: Toree Hamilton (pictured above, left) and Cheryl Long (rotating)
- Callaway: Kendra Windsor and Brianna Nichelson
- Cedar Hill: Jennifer McBaine
- East: Ruthie Eichholz and Lisa Propst
- Lawson: Beth Reinsch
- Moreau Heights: Paula Britton
- North: Jamie Henry (pictured above, right)
- Pioneer Trail: Amy Sprenger
- South: Ashley Bremmerkamp
- Thorpe Gordon: Sandy Ward
- West: Sharla Buthod
- Southwest: Katie Epema
- Thomas Jefferson Middle School: Jacob Baker
- Lewis and Clark Middle School: Haylee Rethman
- Simonsen: Emily Wilhelm
- Jefferson City High School: Kristen Thurman and Charlie Ledgerwood
- Nichols Career Center: Shellie Goodin and Bryan Wolf
- Jefferson City Academic Center: Brian Center and Katherine Distler
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.