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.
JUNE 2019 DIFFERENCE MAKERS
Tornado Response: Learning, Partnerships & Stewardship
JUNE DIFFERENCE MAKERS: JCPS TEAM
The May 22 tornado that struck Jefferson City left a tremendous amount of damage in its wake: damage to homes, damage to property, damage to businesses, and damage to several of our school buildings. But as is the case in so many devastating situations, it is often the worst emergencies that bring out the best in people.
That is exactly what we have seen demonstrated by so many DIFFERENCE MAKERS from our Jefferson City Public Schools team:
Within minutes of the tornado, and upon hearing of the damage to several schools, individuals from our facilities team and building administrators sprang into action. Initial damage assessments were conducted immediately in the overnight hours.
- When the Jefferson City Police Department needed a facility large enough to serve as a Red Cross shelter for those displaced by the storm, several JCPS team members made arrangements to open Thomas Jefferson Middle School in the middle of the night so families would have somewhere safe and dry to take shelter.
- Members of the Food Services department pitched in right away to get the ovens up and running at TJ and provide a warm meal to the families and children who came to the shelter on the first morning and for many, many days to follow.
- On the morning of Friday, May 24th, several hundred JCPS staff members joined forces to step up, pitch in, and volunteer to clean up debris on (and around) the grounds at several schools. The collective action, kind hearts, and helpful hands helped tremendously to tackle some of the most immediate needs at several district properties.
- District employees worked diligently in the days following the storm to ensure that Summer School would be up and running as planned. This required a tremendous amount of logistical planning to ensure students displaced by the storm would have the transportation they needed to get to the school. It required flexibility to find a location to serve the students who would’ve attended summer school at Simonsen. And it required commitment to ensure the Red Cross Shelter opened at Thomas Jefferson could continue operating while ensuring the learning environment would not be impacted.
Ben Meldrum, Simonsen/CCHS principal said “I would like to give a shout out to Frank Underwood, Wes Schulte, John Moon, Ryan Borman, and the entire Maintenance and Custodial Teams for their countless hours of work and efforts to help clean out Simonsen. This group of folks was instrumental in being able to salvage many items that would have otherwise been destroyed. Their efforts were second to none and greatly appreciated.”
Sarah Wilding, principal at Southwest Early Childhood Center where staff volunteers and donations helped to make a free garage sale for those impacted by the storm said, “Alice Messenger, a parent educator at southwest, is truly a difference maker in our community. When the idea of a ‘free sale’ was hatched, Alice was right there to lend her expertise in management of donations and provide the organization needed to make this venture a success. The event was a huge success largely due to her generosity and ability to draw on past experiences with disaster relief and family assistance. Way to go Alice! You are appreciated!”
It is nearly impossible to thank everyone who has stepped up to the plate during this time of great need in our community, but this month we want to publicly recognize the many JCPS team members who truly exemplified “STRONGER TOGETHER” through their actions relating to tornado recovery as our June Difference Makers. The tornado may have damaged a lot of things, but it did NOT damage our spirits or our love of this town and this district. Our community will recover, and we will do it TOGETHER.
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.