JCJC faculty and staff accomplishments honored

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2017-03-30 21:53:47

ELLISVILLE - Sixteen Jones County Junior College faculty and staff members were recently honored for their accomplishments in the workplace over the previous year.  The Employee Appreciation Awards began in 2004 with funds contributed by retired JCJC president, Dr. Ronald Whitehead, with the college and the JCJC Foundation, Inc., adding to the fund.  Finalists were selected and interviewed by the Faculty and Staff Recognition Program Selection Committee.  Prior to the employee recognition program and entertaining softball game, a burger and crawfish luncheon was sponsored by the JCJC Student Government Association, the college and the JCJC Foundation.
“Oftentimes, we see our employees exceeding expectations and we feel it is important to show our appreciation for a job well done. Celebrating accomplishments and offering an afternoon of fun and fellowship is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for making Jones great,” said Charlie Garretson, JCJC VP of Advancement and Executive Director of the JCJC Foundation Inc.
Three individual awards were recently created to honor vital members of the Jones family. The Leadership Award for Administrative Excellence went to athletic director, Katie Herrington who has also served as Lady Bobcat basketball head coach and has taught health and fitness classes for more than 25 years. This award was established four years ago to honor a mid-level administrator whose commitment to the profession has stood out amongst their peers.
JCJC cafeteria’s management company honored cashier Blanca Meek with the SODEXHO Employee Award of Excellence.  The Ellisville resident has been greeting students and the community for breakfast, lunch and dinner for nearly 16 years.
The Humanities Department faculty member exemplifying intellectual integrity in the classroom, and who has encouraged independent analytical thinking skills, loves humanitarian pursuits and fosters a positive rapport with students, Rhonda Farrior was selected to receive the Barbara and Gary Sauls Award for Excellence in Teaching Humanities.  This Humanities award was initiated by JCJC alumni, Mr. & Mrs. Gary W. “Buddy” and Barbara Sauls.  Their daughter, Tracy was a 1990 JCJC graduate. Mr. Sauls was a former JCJC Board of Trustees member and Mrs. Saul is currently on the JCJC Foundation board.  These three honorees, Herrington, Meek and Farrior were all awarded a $500 cash prize.
Additionally, twelve individuals from four categories of employees, faculty, office staff and administrative support, and employees working in, maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police were each awarded plaques.  Also, each staff employee finalist was awarded a cash prize of $125 and the overall winner received an extra $500.  Faculty finalists each received a cash prize of $250 and the overall winner received an additional $750.
The finalists for the faculty awards were Kim Bradshaw, math instructor; Chef Micah Moore, culinary arts instructor; Dr. David Lowery, English instructor and Eric Shows, science division chair and instructor. Laurel’s Dr. David Lowery was chosen for the overall JCJC Faculty of the Year award.  Lowery has been teaching for a total of 23 years with 16 years at JCJC.  He previously taught at Northeast Jones and Heidelberg High School. Lowery also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education at Mississippi State University and at William Carey University. The 1991 JCJC alumnus explained he has always wanted to return to his alma mater and teach.
“Ever since I was a student at Jones, I knew that I wanted to return here and teach one day.  I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a member of the faculty at JCJC.  I was so humbled to be nominated for this award, and being recognized as Faculty Member of the Year is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” said Dr. Lowery.
Serving as an advisor for students majoring in elementary and secondary education, Dr. Lowery added, “As a teacher-education advisor, I help guide advisees toward their teaching career goals.  In teacher-education courses, I teach classes that instruct students how to become better teachers.  I consider my job as one that carries a tremendous amount of weight. I believe teachers should be called to teach and they must be life-long learners to be successful.”
Lowery is a co-advisor for both the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society and the English honor society, Sigma Kappa Delta. He has also served on various committees at Jones including Canvas Training, Textbook, Curriculum Alignment, Scholarship, Admissions and OER committees. Dr. Lowery has served his community by tutoring, judging senior project and FBLA speeches.  At Mount Vernon Congregational Methodist Church, he is a deacon and serves as a Pioneer Club teacher. His greatest reward in teaching is in seeing a student be successful in his chosen profession. 
“I want my students to walk away understanding the importance of being able to read and communicate with others and how necessary these two skills truly are in all facets of life.”
Another member of the JCJC faculty being recognized was Eric Shows who has taught at JCJC for seven years in the science department and has served as division chair.  Shows was dually enrolled at South Jones High School and JCJC until he graduated from South Jones in 2001 and transferred to Mississippi State University.  The Ellisville native is currently the advisement coordinator for pre-professional majors in health related careers, science, health, physical fitness and recreation majors, as well as keeping 11 advisors updated on advisement processes.  Shows serves on committees outside the science department too, like the Infectious Disease Preparedness committee, Homecoming Brunch committee and Educational Program and Advisory Committee. Shows is often found in the athletic bleachers at JCJC supporting his student athletes.  He also keeps busy serving his church, First Baptist Church of Ellisville, as the leader for Children and Youth Bible Drill, and serving on the Ellisville advisory committee providing input about economic, infrastructure and other quality of life improvements.
Chef Micah Moore has been teaching 13 years with six years at JCJC. Her team of students serves the college by catering events like the Homecoming Brunch, Christmas and Retirement Teas and catered lunches and dinners on campus. Moore exhibits the importance of serving her community by volunteering at the Glory House missions in Laurel, encourages her students and department to help stock the Glory House pantry and they provide soup for the Empty Bowls project at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Laurel.  With her encouragement, her students attended and participated in the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama, getting “hands-on” experience which is vital for success.
Kimberly Bradshaw spent four years teaching at West Jones and five years teaching at South Jones High School before coming to Jones where she has been teaching math for nearly six years. Her main goal is to teach students algebra and life lessons by being a prayer warrior, a catalyst, an encourager and a navigator.  She has helped many non-traditional students succeed with her excellent teaching skills, her encouragement, her dedication and ability to motivate students, ensuring students realize their potential.  Bradshaw is a member of the Mississippi Council of Teachers’ of Mathematics and served on the steering committee for the MCTM state convention held at JCJC.  She considers it a pleasure to work on committees such as Top of Class, Women’s Emergency Fund, Student Evaluation committee, Complete to Compete committee and to work on events such as Bobcat Math League.  Bradshaw manages to also find time to volunteer on the First Baptist Church of Ellisville’s Wednesday night cook team, she teaches Sunday school to third and fourth graders and she helps the class choose a mission project each year. 
The Office Staff and Administrative Support nominees included Greene County navigator for four years, Menyone Barrow; purchasing director and Jones employee for 11 years, Sara Buchanan; Information technology’s Gabe Mercier, who has been working at Jones for eight years, and JCJC pre-school teacher, Debbie Rowell, who has been employed for nine years at JCJC. Each staff member received $125 with Mercier being named the Employee of the Year.  Five-hundred dollars was added to his award for receiving the honor.
In the maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police departments, campus police officer, Darren McCraw of Jones County was recognized for his three years patrolling campus.  Jones County’s Willie Jo Breland’s nine years in housekeeping earned her a spot as a finalist. Jimmie Freeman was also commended for his four years in maintenance.  The top award went to Bobby Dykes who has worked in grounds keeping for three years.


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