Q5 with Jennifer Ford, the 2010 Classified Employee of the year for the Independence School District.

1 What was your reaction when you learned that you had received the Classified Employee of the Year Award? I was definitely proud due to the other candidates that were up for the award as well. I was really proud and honored to be surrounded by those other candidates, and it was nice to be recognized in such a way.

2 How did you become a family school liaison? I went to school to be a social worker, and I knew I wanted to be a social worker in schools. I was fortunate enough to get a job with the Independence School District.Being a social worker in a school setting is one of the few places where you have the opportunity to work with both parents and kids. I worked in a juvenile detention facility for a couple of years, and I found myself working only with the children. There was not a lot of opportunities to work with the family as a whole and make a real difference.

3What is the biggest challenge of your job? Not getting overwhelmed with the abundance of issues and problems that affect so many students and families on a daily basis. It is hard sometimes not to get overwhelmed, do what I need to do and then go home, leaving all of that behind to live a normal life.  

4 What do you enjoy most about being a family school liaison? Watching kids and families grow and change in the ways that they wanted to. To watch them get to where they want to go, which is sometimes a place they thought they would never reach.

5 What is one of your proudest moments serving in this position? Watching students graduate. Some of these kids have been faced with the most outrageous obstacles in their lives, but they have persevered to complete high school and move on to a new life. It makes me so happy to see that kind of goal met.

– Kelly Evenson