JAG Kentucky Fall Training

Early in October, the entire JAG Kentucky staff met in Lexington for two days of fun, fellowship and education.  


The first day began with awards and recognition of our outstanding specialists.  Bill Crockett from Clay County Area Technology Center earned the JAG Kentucky Mentor of the Year award. This award signified Bill’s dedication as an experienced specialist to assisting in the development of our newest specialists. Our JAG mentors meet regularly with new specialists and teach them all aspects of the specialist position so that they can meet JAG Kentucky’s high standards of excellence. Marcie Hanson, our Mentor Manager, spoke eloquently of Bill’s accomplishments. “When selecting our first outstanding mentor, we did not have to look far!  Bill Crockett,” Mrs. Hanson notes, "is the only specialist still active from the program’s premiere year in 1993 and has served as a shining example of leadership and guidance for specialists throughout the state for more than two decades. As a mentor, he goes above and beyond to ensure his mentees are well informed on data management, Career Association activities and classroom instruction.”  Congratulations, Bill!


The Rising Star Award was given in recognition of specialists who display excellence in every facet of their specialist roles.  Each regional leader chose a specialist on their team who embodied JAG qualities and standards. George Stafford recognized Adora Williams, saying she is “a true professional who goes above and beyond in her work each and every day.  She has built strong relationships with each of her students and encourages them to learn and grow on a daily basis.”  Meredith Bean recognized Ed “Butch” Jointer, saying he “has made a huge impact with his students since beginning as a first-year specialist. He has implemented many exciting opportunities for his class by introducing his students to community partners, guest speakers and fundraising opportunities.” Cindy Nutwell recognized Tyler DeBernardi, noting he “is a dedicated specialist who is creative in the ways he teaches and mentors his students, always striving to give them the very best experience of the JAG program.  So many of his students sing his praises, noting the specific ways he has changed their lives for the better.” Congratulations to all the Rising Stars.


The day also included new trainings, as well as continuing education, on topics such as teaching the JAG curriculum, classroom strategies and project-based learning for the classroom. Specialists even participated in the training, teaching their peers some skills and techniques in areas such as engaging students and utilizing community resources in the classroom. Some of the highlights of the training included the prizes given out throughout the day.


The training day wrapped up and the staff moved on to more fun times with dinner together at a local restaurant followed by testing the team's puzzle-solving skills with an escape room challenge. 


The second day’s trainings focused on expanding the knowledge and skills of both experienced and new specialists alike. Steve Tressler, from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, joined our training as a guest speaker to share with us exciting news for our students with apprenticeship opportunities. Creating successful partnerships with employers throughout Kentucky is another way JAG Kentucky works to provide students with the skills and experiences which will encourage lifelong success.


The goal of fall training was to encourage and support the entire JAG Kentucky team in providing the best JAG programs to students across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Staff left challenged and motivated to fulfill JAG's purpose: to lead youth to be successful in all areas of their lives as they move through public school and transition into adulthood.


JAG Kentucky wishes to express gratitude to Crossroads Church in Lexington, Kentucky for hosting our fall training.