Hall of Fame

Induction into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame is the highest honor that an educator can receive from Jostens Renaissance. It recognizes the successes and achievements of the nation’s finest educators. Data and documentation along with recommendations support and validate all winners.

2019 Hall of Fame Inductee

John Bush
Principal
Marshall County High School
Lewisburg, TN

What has Jostens Renaissance impacted most in your school?
Our culture & climate has been impacted the most, which has in turn moved our school’s academic performance from one of the lowest performing schools in Tennessee six years ago to a nationally ranked high school this year.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting Jostens Renaissance in their school?
Set high expectations for your school and yourself and do not settle for less!

How has Jostens Renaissance impacted you, personally and professionally? 
Jostens Renaissance has made a lasting impact on me, but hopefully it has helped me make a lasting impact on the students I serve.  A director of schools in a neighboring district to ours is well known for saying, “Find the good and praise it!”  If there was one phrase I could use to describe Jostens Renaissance, I think this would be well-suited.  Jostens Renaissance has transformed me in both my personal and professional life to be watching for the positive things in life and at school.  As a result, I am not pre-occupied on what’s going wrong but focused on what is going well and how we can further improve outcomes.  Most issues are really only as big as we make them.  This personal transformation has carried over into our school as well.  So we try to make positive things the big deal we focus on.  We’re not just in the school business, just as Jostens is not simply in the ring business, but we are ALL in the kid business!  That’s why Jostens Renaissance is not a program but a way of life.

2019 Hall of Fame Inductee

Dr. Darrin Peppard
Superintendent
West Grand School District
Kremmling, CO

What has Jostens Renaissance impacted the most at your school(s)?
Jostens Renaissance shifted the mindset from negativity to looking for and highlighting positives.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting Jostens Renaissance in their school?
Two things. First, go all in. Don’t hesitate or take baby steps – dive in the deep end. Second, get an administrator on board and involved; leadership is critical to long-term success.

How has Jostens Renaissance impacted you, personally and professionally? What role has it played in your life?
Jostens Renaissance has changed who I am – as a leader, as a person, my outlook on life. I have often told the story of the Road to Awesome but it really began in 2007 at my first Jostens Renaissance National Conference. That event caused a fork in the road, or two paths to diverge. I could have stayed on the path filled with negative energy and pessimistic thoughts, but I chose the Road to Awesome. I have never looked back!

What’s your favorite quote?
“Two roads diverged in the woods and I took the road less traveled. And it hurt, man! Really bad. Rocks, thorns and glass. Not cool, Robert Frost! But what if there are two roads? I want to be on the one that leads to awesome.” – Kid President

2019 Hall of Fame Inductee

Dr. James Spencer
Principal
Sedgefield Middle School
Goose Creek, SC

What has Jostens Renaissance impacted the most at your school(s)?
Jostens Renaissance has improved the climate and culture of all of my schools in a positive and meaningful manner and thus improved the quality of education we have provided for our students.  In addition, Renaissance has had a direct positive impact on the morale of our staffulty.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting Jostens Renaissance in their school?
Start yesterday, then take it one day at a time and you will quickly discover, why we do, what we do, in Renaissance schools!

How has Jostens Renaissance impacted you, personally and professionally? What role has it played in your life?
On a personal level, Renaissance taught me to always be the best version of myself I could possibly be.  Renaissance, early in my administrative career, helped me to understand and appreciate the immense importance of the climate and culture of a school and further that we have the ability to be intentional and develop the climate and culture in a positive manner for our schools.   Renaissance has also positively affected my personal life because so much of what we do in Renaissance can be paralleled in our own personal lives.

On a professional level, I learned that despite your best efforts to improve the student learning within a school, nothing will change until the climate and culture of the school are receptive to change.  In five schools and over 20 years as a principal, I saw dramatic increases in student scores, decreases in student discipline, increases in staff morale and I could go on and on because we first established a positive, welcoming, and inclusive school environment through the power of Renaissance!  And most importantly, I witnessed so many individual students learn to believe in themselves, become comfortable in their own skin,  and become the great person they were meant to be!

Previous Hall of Fame Inductees

2018

Samantha Grimes Greenbrier High School Greenbrier TN

2018

Paul Dols Monrovia High School Monrovia CA

2018

Dr. Michelle CarneyRay-Yoder Somers Point School District Somers Point NJ

2017

Jamie Mooring Puyallup High School Puyallup WA

2017

Rhett Ladner Vancleave Middle School Vancleave MS

2017

Holly Branch Musselman High School Inwood WV

2016

Jean Ganze LaSalle-Peru Township High School LaSalle IL

2016

Sara Cowey San Mateo High School San Mateo CA

2015

Dr. Phillip Campbell Portland High School Portland TN

2014

Tina Dietrich Fountain Woods Elementary School Burlington NJ

2014

Jennifer Gates Clifton Middle School Monrovia CA

2013

Tom Nichols North Stafford High School Stafford VA

2013

Jennifer Sasai Walker Junior High School La Palma CA

2013

Doreen Schaefer Sequoya Middle School Holtsville NY

2012

Ron Ward NW Hendricks School Corp. Lizton IN

2012

Valerie Vera-Mineer Canyon Hills Junior High School Chino Hills CA

2012

Judy Gore Highland Regional High School Blackwood NJ

2011

Beverly Buffington North Hall High School Gainesville GA

2010

Dwight Carter Gahanna Lincoln High School Gahanna OH

2009

Bernard Saiz Los Lunas Schools Los Lunas NM

2009

David Sanders Boiling Springs High School Boiling Springs SC

2008

Lisa Owen Sterling High School Somerdale NJ

2008

Jennifer Duston Foothill Technology High School Ventura CA

2008

Charley Nelson Jostens Minneapolis MN

2008

Dr. Mark Petersen McDuffie County Schools Thomson GA

2007

Lisa Schreiner Logan Middle School Lacrosse WI

2007

Steven Bollar Hartford School Mount Laurel NJ

2007

Charles Gerald Moore Boiling Springs High School Boiling Springs SC

2006

Robert Smith Soddy Daisy High School Soddy Daisy TN

2006

Frank Forster Bethel High School Bethel CT

2006

JoNan Holbrook Lanier County Elementary Lakeland GA

2005

Frank Rudnesky Belhaven Middle School Linwood NJ

2005

Wayne Hironaka Grant High School Sacramento CA

2004

Judi Riley Cortland City School District Cortland NY

2004

Dr. Robert Schoewe

2004

Connie Creech

2003

Steve Morris Stephen Decatur Middle School Clinton MD

2003

Jim Fish Sherwood High School Sandy Spring MD

2003

Bob Casper Las Palmas Middle School Covina CA

2002

Denise Hitch Oakdale High School Oakdale CA

2002

Steve Woolf Tonganoxie Jr High School Tonganoxie KS

2001

Shirley Kilgore Booker T. Washington High School Atlanta GA

2001

Elizabeth James Laurel High School Laurel MD

2001

Connie Weeks Don Antonio Lugo High School Chino  CA

2001

Dale Freeman Cherokee Elementary Cedartown GA

2000

Larry Schmidt Lafayette High School Wildwood MO

2000

Marge Congress La Sierra High School Riverside CA

2000

Al Nuness Jostens

1999

Alison Olzendam Mead Middle School Mead WA

1999

Bill Cheney Ontario High School Ontario CA

1999

Keith Bell Gahanna High School Gahanna OH

1999

Dr. John McEwan Silver Lake Regional High School Kingston MA

1999

Alan Chmiel Bethel High School Bethel CT

1999

Frank Palatucci Jr. Highland Regional High School Blackwood NJ

1998

Larry Biddle

1998

Richard Parkhouse Charter Oaks High School Covina CA

1998

Thomas T. Evans Atlanta GA

1998

Vicki Dunaway Powell High School Powell TN

1998

Dr. Dan Edwards Lafayette High School Wildwood MO

1998

Tom Parizo Oxnard High School Oxnard CA

1998

Judy Cox

1998

Larry Price Wilson County Schools Wilson NC

1998

Thomas Whitman

1998

Leon Beckerman
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