Superintendent Jeanne Howe offered a list of ways Jefferson Township schools promote diversity and inclusion at the Board of Education meeting on June 15. Her remarks came a week after JTHS alumni organized a racial justice teach-in where attendees questioned what the school district was doing to promote diversity and criticized Howe for her absence at the event.

Howe said that the district has plenty of diversity and inclusion resources. All social studies are equipped with resources to talk in-depth about race, and the supervisor of social studies, Daniel Papa, received additional training and resources to help his staff.

The Anti-Defamation League recognized Jefferson Township High School (JTHS) as a “No Place for Hate” school for completing certain activities including conducting a school-wide pledge against hate. JTHS also has a diversity and inclusion committee — though a student on the committee acknowledged that it was small and couldn’t achieve as much as she would have liked.

Remote End-of-Year Recognition 

When the school year comes to an end, high-achieving eighth graders and high school seniors would normally receive recognition from the Board of Education during its June meeting. However, the governor’s orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic limit large gatherings and brought this annual celebration to the virtual world. 

JTHS Principal Timothy Plotts and Jefferson Township Middle School (JTMS) Principal Kelly Cooke led the presentation for their respective schools.

Plotts first recognized Mark Schmidt and Ian McAndrew for dedicating their time as student representatives to the Board of Education. They were responsible for attending and reporting the status of JTHS at every board meeting this academic year prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

He continued his presentation by listing the 40 JTHS seniors who had earned the summa award. These students earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher. Plotts also recognized the valedictorian, Patrick Flynn, and the salutatorian, Anjali Patel.

Kelly Cooke finished the presentation by announcing the JTMS eighth grade students who earned the Excelsior Award for maintaining an average of 95 or above throughout their three years in middle school.

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