Monday, November 4, 2013

Year of the Dancing Snake Gala - JMTOS

 I was pleased and honored to join Sen. Tim Cullen Saturday for the Year of the Dancing Snake Gala, a benefit for the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Opportunities Scholarship (JMTOS). What a great event to recognize the program’s scholarship winners and celebrate other district accomplishments.

First of all, we all need to recognize Sen. Cullen’s vision and hard work in moving diversity in the district forward. For many years the district explored options to increase diversity among our staff with little success. Sen. Cullen came up with the “home grown” idea, and he has made it work. Tim has worked with Sue Conley, the executive director of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin to ensure that funding continues for the scholarships. Sue reports the gala fundraiser was a success.

What a moving experience to hear from our scholarship winners. It was evident from their comments that JMTOS has made a difference in their lives. More than one recipient told us JMTOS was a “blessing” that gave them the opportunity to return to Janesville to teach and help meet the program’s goal of providing culturally diverse role models not only for Janesville’s students of color, but for all Janesville students.

Six of the seven scholarship recipients attended Saturday’s Gala. They are:
Jared Fox
Chastity Harden
Rolondo Jimenez
Jesse Ramirez
Melissa Sanchez
Nicole Washington
Kenndrah Fierro was unable to attend

I also took the opportunity to review the many accomplishments and recent awards the district has received. It was a great opportunity to recognize our schools of excellence and their staffs.

Wisconsin DPI Schools of Recognition 2012-13: 
Edison Middle School -
Franklin Middle School
Jackson Elementary
Jefferson Elementary
Lincoln Elementary  5th year in a row!
Madison Elementary  3rd year in a row!
Roosevelt Elementary

US News and World Report- Best High Schools in the Nation
Silver Medalists
Craig High School
Parker High School

U.S. Department of Education
National Blue Ribbon Schools
Kennedy 2011

School District of Janesville
Asia Society’s Confucius Classroom
100 Exemplary Chinese Language Program in American Schools

What do the award-winning schools and the success of programs such as JMTOS represent? They are examples of how we all focus on our mission “To serve our community by educating every child.”

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