Thomas Hendrickson, Toano Middle School
Mr. Hendrickson goes above and beyond to help the students at Toano Middle School. He is a true maverick in the field of education. Mr. Hendrickson worked with both of my sons at the school and always made them feel special. He brought lessons to life for the boys and engaged them in varied hands-on activities. Since both of the boys are autistic, he used positive reinforcement consistently to help them feel successful, even when they were struggling with the curriculum. Mr. Hendrickson battled cancer while he was teaching and somehow never let that be a deterrent to his pursuit of excellence in his field. I am in awe of his courage to combat his illness, all the while meeting the needs of the children he worked with at school. Even when he was home or hospitalized, he kept in contact with the boys and let them know he was cheering them on. Truly inspirational. Mr. Hendrickson also worked with the boys after school in an Aviation Club. He made the subject come alive for the boys and inspired them to want to fly! Since he is also an accomplished pilot, they were thrilled to learn that they could fly along with him at a local airport. Needless to say, that memory will always be with them. As a retired educator, it gives me great pleasure to nominate Mr. Hendrickson as a WJCC Hero of Hope.
Jessica Minter, Laurel Lane Elementary School
Mrs. Minter is a phenomenal teacher. If you meet her once, pass her in the hall, or just hear how she talks to her students you will know that she is a different breed of teacher. Her positivity and constant drive to help her students succeed is what you notice immediately. Working alongside her you notice how she talks to the students. She talks to them like they are people whom she respects and values. You may think this is a normal occurrence for teachers however, it is not. She is a model teacher and exemplary human. She clearly loves what she does, she is excellent at it, and shine so brightly that she encourages others to shine as well.
Jorge Rivas, Central Office
Jorge is AWESOME!. He has assisted JRE in so many ways – assisting parents with OLR, IEP meetings, reaching out to help with follow-up calls to our EL parents regarding remaining paperwork/other items needed to complete enrollment requirements. I could not imagine not having Jorge. He is the best! He goes above and beyond! I do not know how he does it all, for all of our schools by himself.