Award Info & Nomination Link
The JC Schools Difference Maker Award is presented to staff and students who make a difference in their schools and our community; those individuals who go above and beyond to exemplify #JCStrongerTogether. Nominate a Staff Difference Maker here! Nominate a Student Difference Maker here!
JC Schools will thank all Difference Makers nominated, and some, like those pictured below, will be recognized monthly at the JC Schools Board of Education meeting. We love to spotlight Difference Makers that are tied to each of our three organizational pillars: Learning, Partnerships and Stewardship.
STAFF DIFFERENCE MAKER
Kevin Blair, Band Director at Capital City High School
Submitted by: Jenny Uptergrove (and the CCHS Band Boosters)
Mr. Blair has worked very hard to start the building process of a band program at CCHS. Through high expectations, building relationships with students, and engaging teaching techniques...students WANT to exceed in band. During the marching band season, competition with other bands provide formative, summative, and relevant assessments that encourage students to want to improve their performances on (and off) the field. Using judges comments, Mr. Blair is able to lead the team in making higher goals for themselves. Through his modeling of positive feedback, students encourage each other. There is even laughter heard on the marching band field!
Here are some important numbers to consider. CCHS Marching band is competing in class 4A. This means most bands are marching well over 100 with freshman-seniors. He is marching 57 (37 freshman and 20 sophomores). At their very first marching band competition, they placed 6 out of 16. They took second in their division. Here some words I heard from Mr. Blair to the students, "I want you guys to have fun out there. I am proud of you. You can do this." To the parents he said, "We need to help the students feel comfortable on the marching band field."
This leads me to the partnership piece. Mr. Blair needs parents to help on the marching band field (props and percussion). He goes out of his way to build positive relationships with parents. Remember how I said he is teaching 57 students? Well. He is also training their parents. At the last competition, I witnessed him talking and thanking parents that helped. Band parents are passionate about band. Mr. Blair guides students and parents (and grandparents) with composure, professionalism, and humor.
STUDENT DIFFERENCE MAKER
Zayne West, 5th Grader at Pioneer Trail
Submitted by: teachers Ms. Ashley McCollum & Mrs. Tara Hoelscher
When I think of a role model student, I think of Zayne. He is kind, encouraging, responsible, empathetic, honest, loyal, hardworking, accountable, compassionate, generous, cooperative, patient, helpful, and positive. I can always count on him to be doing his job. Integrity is one of his strong suits.
While Zayne has all of these stellar character traits, the way he interacts with those in his class makes me so proud. He is the first to assist a struggling student, encouraging them and helping them succeed. He is calm and patient to help them understand. He is willing to work with every student in his class and is always positive about the situation.
One specific instance that showcases Zayne's stellar qualities was noticed in a PE class. A student, who often needs help managing his emotions, was so excited to have a turn to kick in kickball. Zayne, who was on the opposing team, encouraged the student and cheered when he reached first base. When Zayne saw the student on second, he whispered to the infield to help cheer him on to third. As the student reached home plate, Zayne congratulated and high fived him. He led the student to success and encouraged kindness towards his classmates.
Zayne's example to others goes way beyond his work in one particular setting. His leadership shines through in all locations. To say that I am proud of him is an understatement. I am so thankful to have been able to teach him for the last five years. Watching him grow into this amazing individual is so rewarding.
Keep being YOU Zayne! Your hard work, kindness, and integrity does not go unnoticed!
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.