KCK Board of Education Honors Employees of the Month - April 2017

Six outstanding employees were honored this week by the Kansas City, Kansas Board of Education as Employees of the Month for April. These six people form the Northwest Middle School intervention team.  Congratulations to Semaj Jones (SWAS Program), Timothy Robinson (6th and 7th grade behavior interventionist), Monica Portley, (family community school specialist), Officer Ken Blount, (Officer, Mentor), Margenell “Maggie” Collins (counselor), & Kenneth Lawrie (8th grade behavior interventionist).

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The following is the story from the Northwest Middle School Employee of the Month nomination from April 2017:

“I am honored to work with the wonderful students and teachers at Northwest Middle, but I am particularly blessed to collaborate with six colleagues who work relentlessly to provide advocacy, empathy and restoration for the students who frequently need extra interventions and supports in order to be successful. Together this team forms the Northwest Middle School intervention team.  Officer Blount, Maggie Collins, Semaj Jones, Kenneth Lawrie, Monica Portley and Timothy Robinson constitute a dream team of professionals who use their distinct skills and talents to support student achievement as well as teaching and learning at Northwest. Each of these individuals promotes unity when they work with students, parents and fellow faculty and staff. It is hard to capture the complexities and depth of their work. Semaj Jones continues to improve our school-within-a-school (SWAS), which is an intervention for students who need intensive support both academically and behaviorally.  His ability to establish immediate rapport allows him to both reach and teach the students he serves. Timothy Robinson is our 6th/7th grade behavior interventionist, and he has an uncanny ability of speaking life and truth into the hearts and minds of the students he serves.  Monica Portley, family community school specialist, advocates for students and families in crisis and is indispensable when we need to help students manage emotions or traumatic experiences.  She is gifted at seeking solutions and helping all stakeholders take ownership of the process.  Officer Blount, for example, initiated a mentoring group by which he engages students who have a history of exhibiting problem behaviors.  These discussions generally include a great deal of humor and also focus on making appropriate decisions and problem solving. Margenell ‘Maggie’ effectively and routinely mediates conflict resolution between students who are unable to find common ground for reconciliation.  Her empathetic nature and patience has brought calm to many storms. Timothy Robinson is our 6th/7th grade behavior interventionist, and he has an uncanny ability of speaking life and truth into the hearts and minds of the students he serves. Coach Kenneth Lawrie has a calm demeanor and kindness that often bring students to the point of immediate re-integration to the regular classroom setting. All of my colleagues are worthy of earning employee of the month as individuals, but as a team they probably deserve employee of the year.  It is an honor to work with them and watch them consistently make a positive impact at Northwest Middle School.” 

Sincerely,
Joe W. Graham,
Assistant Principal, Northwest Middle