Hanson Receives Legacy Award for 25 years of Service
At the JAG National Training Seminar in Orlando, FL, Marcie Hanson received The Legacy Award for 25 years of service. During her 25 years, Hanson has helped over 2,100 students in Martin County. Her first year as a JAG Specialist was at Martin County Alternative School; the rest of those years were served at Sheldon Clark High School (now Martin County High School).
Hanson recounts being ready to change the lives of students her first year. "I had a young girl who came from extreme poverty. But she was so smart and I knew I was going to change the world with her." The young girl got married, had a baby and dropped out her senior year despite Hanson's advice to stay in school. "I felt so defeated. If I couldn't save her, who could I save?"
Despite what felt like failure her first year, Hanson continued as a Specialist. Ten years later that young girl knocked on her door. She told Hanson she remembered everything she taught her and that she'd turned her life around. She and her husband were running a successful construction business in South Carolina. "I know this is what I was meant to do. Even when I don't see the difference I'm making right now, I know I will see it years down the road."
Hanson is glad she stuck with it, even when JAG Kentucky almost lost their funding. In 2003, Hanson visited Kentucky's Secretary of Education with fellow specialist Bill Crockett hoping to persuade her to keep funding for JAG. It wasn't until they brought a handful of students to a second meeting with the Secretary that she agreed to keep the funding.
JAG President Lisa Handziak presented Hanson with The Legacy Award and thanked her for "relentless dedication to keeping JAG alive in the commonwealth of Kentucky and for the fierce commitment to the success of her students."
After 25 years, Hanson still loves every part of her job. "I love the occupational skills training and leadership development. Not only that, but teaching kids they can be a great leader or a great team member. Hopefully I've given them the tools they need to do the things they are meant to do."
Hanson adds, "JAG has been my life's work. The growth we have seen under new leadership has been what I have dreamed of for JAG. I am so proud to be a part of where we are and we going."
In addition to her position at Sheldon Clark High School, Hanson also serves as the Data and Mentor Manager for JAG Kentucky.