WJCC Schools’ Heroes of Hope help others reach their hopes by offering a helping hand, a word of encouragement, or a little guidance. From small acts to grand gestures, these staff members make a difference in the lives of their students and colleagues.

These heroes do not look for applause or recognition. Their reward is in the student achieving a goal, completing a project, or making a colleague’s day a little easier. However, we think they deserve to be honored as the Heroes they are.

We celebrate three WJCC Schools Heroes of Hope the third week of every month during the school year— you can help us by sharing stories of the Heroes among us. To nominate a WJCC Schools employee as a Hero of Hope complete the form below.

2020-21 Return to Learn: Heroes of Hope

We are celebrating the start of the 2020-21 school year by honoring the Heroes of Hope that make our Return to Learn possible. Follow along as we share the stories of the teams who never stopped working to make sure WJCC Schools is ready to learn, teach, and work no matter what path we are on.

Help us show these amazing employees some love by giving a shout out on our social media posts!

Special Education Team

September 25th, 2020|

To conclude our Return to Learn Heroes of Hope celebration, we honor the educators who serve our special education students and their families. The challenges presented by a pandemic and remote learning are huge for special education, WJCC Schools’ special education team confronted them head-on.


Over the summer, the special education team determined how to best serve students whose needs are highly individualized. They connected with families to provide information specific to their children. They provided training for case managers on new curriculum, health considerations and regulations. They identified resources to minimize student sharing and contact.


The team developed a safe and secure evaluation process that worked so well, it is now a model for other assessment opportunities in our schools.


Special education staff knew it would be essential to offer in-person learning to many of the students they served, so they dedicated themselves to making that happen. We are proud to say that specific populations of students have begun safe and engaging in-person learning thanks to this amazing team of educators.


Our Special Education Heroes of Hope are:

Stacia Barreau

Peter Grabowski

Courtney Fuller

Susan Grainer

Sarah Copeland

BethAnne Klaver

Suzie Yeats

Shannon Williams

Johnnie Underwood

Zebrina Taylor

Technology Integration Coaches

September 18th, 2020|

Technology Integration Coaches (TICs) have gone the extra mile to make WJCC Schools’ Return to Learn possible. They are delivering professional development to instructional staff and distributing devices to families. They are also supporting teachers as we all adapt to remote learning. Bright Beginnings, who typically do not require much TIC support, tell us that their TICs have been exceptionally attentive and made sure staff have the support they need to be there for kids.


One of our high school teachers summed it up best when explaining why TICs are heroes: “They are the driving force for the sanity of all teachers.”


To all our TICs, thank you for being Heroes of Hope for our teachers and therefore, our students.


Technology Team

September 11th, 2020|

From responding to an emergency shift to remote teaching, learning, and working to preparing for a school year that will rely on technology more than ever before, Technology team members are diligent, often unseen, Heroes.  

The networking team is expanding our network, ordering remote hotspots for students in need of internet access, and ensuring all the technical back-end operations are ready for students to fire up their laptops and start learning. 

Cary Crum has been amazing, working with manufacturers to find laptops in a Covid-19 world where supply chains are disrupted, and devices are nearly impossible to find. His team is making preparations to support our students and staff in remote learning. 

Speaking of supporting students and staff in remote learning, Aindrea Estes has reconfigured TekConnect to ensure our helpdesk team is ready to respond to technology issues to keep students learning, teachers teaching, and staff working. 

Our enterprise team has created new schools in Synergy for the WJCC Virtual Academy and worked with the instructional team to ensure students are appropriately enrolled and ready for day one. 

Lastly, but certainly not least – Kristin Barr and Pattie Bowen have worked across all departments to make sure courses are ready for teachers and students, content can be delivered, and devices are ready to support instruction. 

We salute our Heroes in the Technology Department for making online learning and work possible this year. 

Operations Team

September 10th, 2020|

The entire Operations Team has been working nonstop to provide for our students and families and get our division ready for the school year. Every day, they are involved in work that is critical to our current and future success.  

Custodians are on the front lines of the essential effort to create safe and healthy environments for students and staff. They are preparing buildings and implementing new protocols, while under intense scrutiny. They will provide extra layers of cleaning and sanitizing daily and will mobilize should deep cleaning response be necessary.  

If you stop to speak to any member of the custodial team, you get a smile and pleasant conversation— proof that these folks are vital to our organization in more ways than just keeping our space clean and safe. No matter how hard their work or how late the hour, they offer a bit of heart, humor, and care. 

These teams reflect the exceptional leadership provided by Brian Weaver, Julie Jones, Michael Pittman, and Howard Wallace. 

Every time you enter a building, remember that our custodial team’s Heroes have made sure you are in a safe, sanitized, and hopeful space. 

Grab & Go has become the face of Operations and a regular opportunity for families and staff to connect. Jane Haley has led this multifaceted effort that involves child nutrition, custodial, and transportation staff. Three days a week, whether it is cold and rainy or hot and humid, these crews are there to hand out meals, smiles, and encouragement to our school families. They have formed communities, knowing that the driver of that red sedan has been going through a rough time and needs a word of support, or the student in the van had a birthday and deserves an extra cheer.  

For providing more than 144,037 breakfast and lunch meals and immeasurable goodwill since March, our Grab & Go teams are Heroes of Hope. 

Thank you, Operations, for keeping us going year-round. 

Health Services Team

September 9th, 2020|

From the moment world health officials began to express concern about the spread of COVID-19 this winter, the Health Services team has been essential to WJCC Schools’ health response. Led by Janice Fowler, with support from Louisa Johnson, Beth Vona, Yvonne, Luchs, Mary Alice Lloyd, and many others in the school and public health fields, this group has produced a mountain of work all to keep us safe, healthy, and informed. 

 They review numerous (and continuously changing) state, federal, and health documents to support recommendations and develop mitigation guidelines. They spend countless hours editing and revising to ensure the most thorough and accurate guidance possible. They work collaboratively to develop appropriate processes to support our staff and students and develop training plans and resources for division staff. The level of stress this team has been operating under cannot be understated. Every member of the Health Services team feels the weight of their work and takes their role in keeping us all safe seriously.  

 We are so fortunate to have the guidance, care, and dedication of this group. For their ongoing efforts to keep us safe and informed and create the protocols needed to transition back to onsite work and learning, the Health Services team are Heroes of Hope. 

Curriculum Writing Team

September 8th, 2020|

Throughout the summer, our instructional experts gathered to create curriculum and resources to enable consistent, effective and engaging learning no matter which path we take. Not only did they create a curriculum with students in mind, but they also recognized the importance of providing teachers with reliable instructional tools. This year, teachers become students as we learn how to teach effectively in an online environment and prepare to pivot between paths as circumstances change. Teachers and instructional support staff are a consistent point of contact for students who will need more attention and support as we navigate remote learning and continue to address the impact of the pandemic on our students’ mental, social, and emotional well-being. Providing consistent curriculum and resources across the division allows teachers and instructional staff space to focus on what is most important- students.  

Guided by the leadership and enthusiasm of  Sean Walker, Dr. Cathy Worley, and Patricia Bowenmore than 250 teachers developed digital content for more than 190 K-12 coursesThe work continues to prepare courses for the remainder of the school year. 

Everyone who contributed to the curriculum development is a hero to teachers and instructional staff, families, and students. We are in awe of your contribution to our Return to Learn effort. 

We will recognize three Heroes of Hope every month during the school year.
All nominations will be reviewed by the WJCC Schools Employee Appreciation Committee. Nominees must be current full-time employees in good standing.