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Friday, April 18, 2014

Columbia School District Administrative Assistants Are The Best!

Columbia School District has many wonderful, helpful, cheerful people in our organization. Since this is administrative professional’s week, I would like to introduce you to five very wonderful people who make Columbia Schools special. Ann Dyjach is the administrative assistant to the superintendent and the Board of Education. Ann has worked in the district for 24 years. She began subbing for secretaries and aides throughout the district. Her favorite thing about her job is talking to people and helping them. She loves the versatility and doing so many different things each day. When talking to her about the district she always talks about how much she likes the students. Just ask any of the students and they will tell you that she has a secret stash of candy that she keeps just for them!

At Columbia Elementary School the administrative assistant is Lori Hunter. She is the first person our parents and staff members see when they walk into the office. Her pleasant demeanor is reassuring to parents of ill children and teachers who need some support. Lori Hunter has worked for the Columbia School District for almost 16 years. She told me, “I enjoy working for Columbia School District because of the small community. Over the years I have developed sincere relationships with students and families across the district.” She continued by saying, “I have the best job!!! In what working environment can you receive so much love every single day? I adore all the hugs that I receive in a day. The students at CES are the best. They are kind and respectable. I am so blessed to work with a group of amazing teachers, staff and the best Principal ever!!” One thing is evident to anyone who sees Lori work with children; she exhibits a loving caring spirit to all!

Parents who call over to Columbia Middle School have the pleasure of speaking with Monika Cook. Although this is her first year as the administrative assistant, she has worked for the district as the ABC room aide. She enjoys working with parents, students and teachers. Her pleasant smile and easy going manner helps put even new students at ease. We are pleased to have Monika in the office at Columbia Middle School.

A fixture at Columbia Options High School is Jeanne Meinka. Her cheerful smile and nurturing demeanor is positive for students and staff. She has been with Columbia School District 29 Years, the last 26 working with Columbia Option High School students. When I asked her how she liked her position at Columbia Options High School, she said, “I like working with and watching the alternative students grow and change their attitude about learning. I love to inspire them so that can be whatever they desire to do if we build confidence in each one of them. She continued by saying that, “Encouragement is the key to most all things: Educations, sports and life.”

At Columbia Central High School we have the dynamic duo: Lana Lakin and Debbie Russell! Lana joined the high school staff over Christmas break. While it has been a whirl-wind experience getting into the swing of the high school office area, she finds it very rewarding working with the students. If she can lend a listening ear and offer any encouragement to better their day that is her reward. Students appreciate her calm demeanor and helpful assistance when they are in need.

When students think of Debbie Russell, they think of her quick smile and laugh. After working for the Columbia School District for 22 years, she still enjoys her job. She said, “I like a lot of things about Columbia Schools but my favorite is the students. My husband and I moved to this community in 1979, my children all graduated from Columbia Central High School, I have seen a lot of changes to this community and district and I’m very proud to be a part of the Columbia family.”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Talented Students at Columbia!

Columbia School District students come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. While most of us were enjoying Spring Break, Sophe Stahl wrestled her way to Second Place in the Women’s National Wrestling Tournament in Oklahoma City. This week Ryan Adams and Ashleigh Shay were named by the Jackson Citizen Patriot as some of the best high school basketball players in the Jackson area. Sophe, Ryan, and Ashleigh are only two of Columbia’s very talented students.

This week many of our fourth through twelfth grade students will decide to “join” the Circus of the Kids. This activity gives our students an opportunity to build their self-esteem, develop new skills and explore the world of performance. Much like the “Circus of the Stars” Circus of the Kids trains the performers through rigorous practice sessions over a short period of time. Our students began on Monday and will give their first performance next week, ending with a final performance on Sunday, April 27th at 2 pm in the Columbia Central High School gymnasium.

Last year’s performers had the opportunity to execute trapeze stunts, scarf and rope tricks, do acrobatics on the mini tramp, eat fire and balance on giant balls. Other students experienced success in juggling, hula hooping tricks, and performing as the Mistress of the Ring.

The Circus of the Kids began in 1982 and has included over 500,000 children from across the United States in the performances. Last year was the first time they had worked with Columbia School District students. The Circus of the Kids gives the students an opportunity to learn how to take steps to improve their persistence and resolve. The students learn their activities through a special blend of exercise, skill building and camaraderie. Many of the techniques they use to help train the students transfer into the classroom or onto the playing field.

Include the Circus of the Kids in your plans next week. You will be amazed by our students as they participate this great activity. If you have questions about Columbia School District or one of our many successful programs, please email me at or call me at 5175926641.