JCJC faculty and staff accomplishments honored

ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Jones County Junior College

Fourteen Jones County Junior College faculty and staff members were recently honored for their accomplishments in the workplace.  The Appreciation Awards began in 2004 and focus on four individuals from three categories of employees: faculty, office staff and administrative support, and employees working in, maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police. Each staff employee finalist was awarded a cash prize of $125 and the overall winner received $625.  Faculty finalists each received a cash prize of $250 and the overall winner received $1,000. Two relatively new honors were also bestowed upon two individuals at the luncheon.

The faculty recognition program was designed and funded by the JCJC Foundation, Inc., and the college, with the luncheon sponsored by the JCJC Student Government Association, the college and the JCJC Foundation.  Finalists are selected and interviewed by the Faculty and Staff Recognition Program Selection Committee.  The finalists for the faculty awards were Dr. Susan Smith-Fine Arts, Mark Brown-Art, Joel Cain-Athletic Trainer and instructor, Angela Cooley-Math, and Corey Jones-Math.

Dr. Smith won the overall award in recognition of her 24 years in education with nine-years of experience at JCJC. As the division chair of the Fine Arts Department she is busy teaching music classes, conducting the Concert Choir and JC Voices musical groups, as well as overseeing dozens of music majors. Dr. Smith serves on the Learning Resources, SACS, Homecoming, Graduation and EPAC Committees, and has performed or led performances for athletic events, the JCJC Beauty pageant and for the Black History programs. She has high expectations for herself and for her students and is an example of how hard work and devotion is rewarded with excellence in her student's performances as well as her professional performance. Her work continues in the community with the Laurel Country Club Senior Citizen Luncheon, Jones County Career Day, American Cancer Society, Ellisville State School, Special Olympics and Lions Club, as well as many of our district high schools.

One of her recommendation letters noted, "Her intense passion for music and teaching is obvious to anyone who works with her and she is an inspiration to her colleagues.  She believes teaching is one of the most important professions in today's time."

Another member of the Fine Arts Department, Mark Brown was recognized for his commitment to Jones through his willingness to be the "Ultimate Team Player."  Whether he is nurturing relationships with other departments to benefit his students, to decorating for a campus event or designing a template for a sports field logo, Brown has offered his talents and time. He has been teaching graphic design and art classes at Jones for seven years at JCJC and also serves on the Student Affairs Committee.  In the community you will see him coaching flag football and is involved in his church's AWANA program.

Joel Cain has been teaching at JCJC for 11 years and also serves as the athletic trainer for all of JCJC's intercollegiate teams.  He manages insurance claims for the student athletes and he served on the iPad/eBook Task Force. In the community, you'll find Cain serving on the Planning Committee and the Youth Planning/Activity Committee for Goodwater Baptist Church, participating in the Wounded Warrior Hunts for Deer/Turkey and the Benefit Hunt for Autism.

For 24 years, Angela Cooley has been teaching math classes at Jones.  She believes being a teacher is a "life-long calling," not a job. Among her many duties at JCJC, she serves as co-sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta fundraising activities, helping with Treats-in-the-Streets, Homecoming floats, Student Council Workshop, and serving on the Common Core State Standards High School Mathematics Transition Task Force and the Instructional Review Committee, refereeing for the Bobcat Math League, as well as writing questions, reviewing questions and judging competitions, she also serves as a lead coordinator for the Mississippi Collegiate Teachers of Mathematics Junior High Math Competition's annual district competition. Cooley also finds time to serve on the Youth Committee and being a youth sponsor at First Baptist Church of Soso.

Corey Jones has been the math division chair for a couple of years, with fifteen years' experience in education. He serves on the Who's Who, the JCJC Insurance and the Student Affairs Committees.  Jones also assists with the coordination of the Bobcat Math League which coordinates math competitions with 20 high school teams in the region.  Besides his division chair and teaching duties, Jones finds time to serve as the interim finance secretary and administrative assistant for his church, New Life Ministries in Louin, while also pursuing his doctorate degree and being a husband and father.

The Leadership Award for Administrative Excellence was established last year to honor a mid-level administrator whose commitment to the profession has stood out amongst their peers.  Book Store Manager, Kevin Kuhn was chosen as the recipient of this honor for his ten years as the bookstore manager, and going over and beyond to provide a service for students, when it's convenient for them.

The Office Staff and Administrative Support nominees included Mary Abbey, who has worked in several administrative offices over her 18 years at the college. Donna Bass has served in the science and math department for 15 years. For 13 years, Wesley Dixon has worked in the library. The overall winner for the Office Staff and Administrative Support employees is Gena Prince.  She has worked in the Registrar's Office and the Student Success and Counseling Center for 10 years.

In the maintenance, housekeeping, campus grounds and campus police departments, Marva Ransom was recognized for her six years working in housekeeping.  Scott Sumrall's three years in transportation and grounds earned him a spot as a finalist. Mike Tisdale was also commended for his 13 years in the maintenance department.  The top award went to Wayne Street who has worked in the Transportation and Grounds department for 26 years.

English instructor, Murray Windham was honored with the Barbara and Gary Sauls Award for Excellence in Teaching Humanities. She received a $500 cash award in recognition of her abilities as a Humanities instructor who exemplifies intellectual integrity in the classroom, encourages independent analytical thinking skills, engenders a love for humanitarian pursuits and fosters a positive rapport with students.

This 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.