JEROME — Bobbi Justice, Lisa Henderson and Jose Chicas-Marquez are the Jerome School District’s “Excellence in Education” award recipients for January.
Each recipient received a plaque and $50 gift card provided by Jiffy Lube/Burton Group. Recipients are selected by a committee that reviews nominations submitted by employees, parents, students and community members.
Here’s information about each of the three recipients:
Lisa Henderson, first-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School
Henderson has taught first grade for 14 years at Jefferson Elementary. She was nominated by an elementary school teacher, who wrote the following:
“Lisa Henderson is an amazing teacher! When I first moved to Jerome, one of my children had her as a teacher. No matter what conversation we had whether it was at parent teacher conference or just a phone call home to discuss how my child was doing she was always professional. I always felt that she had the best interest of my child in mind. I have found this to be the case working her with on a professional level as well. Lisa is very conscientious of what her students need. She has an especially difficult group of students this year and she is always talking to others and doing research outside of school hours to find strategies and new ways to try and connect with the students. She has been working on teaching her students about having a growth mindset. To that end she wrote a grant to get money so that she could buy books that specifically target behaviors and thought processes that children might have. She was awarded the grant and will share the books with others in the school that want to use them.
"Lisa is a great leader! She is willing to talk to others and help them brainstorm ideas when they are struggling. She is organized and thoughtful in how she has her students spend their time in her classroom. She has always been willing to help me if I have a question or need a new idea for a lesson or behavior issue. For her love of teaching, her professionalism both with students and adults, and for her efforts to help every student in her classroom grow I hope you choose her to receive the Excellence in Education award. She is amazing!”
Bobbi Justice, math teacher at Jerome Middle School
Justice has taught for 21 years in the Jerome School District. She was nominated by two middle school teachers, who wrote the following:
“Bobbi Justice is the living proof of the power of education. When she first started teaching in Jerome, she was a para-professional. While working full-time with small children, she went through college and became a certified teacher. She talks the talk and walks the walk of education. Bobbi is dedicated to teaching. Her current students said, ‘She doesn’t care if you’ve asked for help before.’ ‘Mrs. Justice will explain math another way if you don’t get it the first way.’ ‘She makes me feel better about math and I hate math.’ Bobbi is the rare math teacher who is a people person too as well as being very even-tempered.”
“Bobbi is has written or co-written ALL of the math curriculum for ALL grades at JMS which is amazing. Her work as the Math Department Leader puts her in a position to see the macro-level and lead her fellow teachers. When she was considering moving grade levels from 7th to 8th, a fellow teacher told her to be selfish and stay in 7th grade because she wouldn’t need to learn anything new. She told them she needed to think about what was best for the students and the school and not what was best for her. She did move to the 8th grade math position. Bobbi may be the most organized person on the planet. She has been known to pull out notes from meetings from previous years to illustrate a point! She is a self-starter and very intrinsically motivated. She works on things way in advance and prides herself on accomplishing things before they are due. Bobbi works so much over-time that it would take 2 teachers to do what she does. Bobbi is a Jerome School District Alumni and believes in her hometown and bettering her community. Her mom has worked for JSD and her kids have gone to Jerome schools too.”
Jose Chicas-Marquez, maintenance and custodial department employee
Chicas-Marquez has worked for the Jerome School District for 10 years. He was nominated by a teacher and student, who wrote the following:
“Jose is out every morning making sure that the school looks its best before anyone arrives and his attention is to quality in completed work. Jose shows concern for his co-workers well-being and supports their success and he makes certain that his work area is safe. Jose is always on the move doing something, any little thing, to improve the schools in the district. His attitude is upbeat and positive even under difficult conditions and anyone who has worked with Jose would be delighted to be present when he receives this recognition, and yet I am sure that his humility will make him very embarrassed to receive such public praise.”
“Jose was the janitor of Jerome High School. Besides the work set for him by the school, he goes out of his way to make our school the best it can be. I am a varsity player for the girls’ soccer team and unfortunately we had our biggest game the Monday after homecoming. As homecomings are usually crazy with the fans filling up the bleachers and leaving a mess. That morning we asked if Jose could help us, by the time we made it out for lunch he had the whole bleachers and trash out of that place, perfect time for us to decorate for our game. Besides doing that generous favor for us, he can always be seen cleaning up the school during school hours. The trash after lunch, is handled by Jose. I’m very thankful for his work for my school and hope his work is considered for this position.”