This month’s National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month is Stephanie Jess from Brazoswood High School in Clute, TX. Nominator Rita Pintaville describes how she recognizes everyone on campus and shows student leaders how to do the same (lightly edited):
“There is never a cause too great or too small for Mrs. Jess to tackle. She helps students grow into campus leaders by mentoring them and providing her time in every event. She is ALWAYS present for the students. She oversees blood drives, Pep Rallies, HOCO week, welcome weeks, Fish Camp, clothing drives, food drives, mental health events, PRIDE POINT events, red ribbon week, secret Santas, appreciation days for custodial, principals, nurses, bus drivers, librarians, and staffulty. Her ideas and creativity are only matched by her enthusiasm. She helps students set up food drives, clothing drives and run a campus store so students can get clothing and prom dresses at no cost. She does everything based on the best interest of students. She helps students create the campus culture such as painting bathroom walls, handing out notes of encouragement and positive post its.
When a positive thing happens, the students immediately want to share with her, and when a tragedy happens the students immediately want to seek solace from her. She teaches how to show empathy for others and how to have strength in yourself. Our campus culture and climate is positive because she creates student leaders who make it that way and is a positive influence on all staffulty.
She has helped make incredible adjustments to regular events during the pandemic and social distancing guidelines – she ordered and passed out pink masks for breast cancer awareness days, created a virtual bonfire video and moved our signs to the field, did a virtual senior showcase and superlative awards show, and showed new ways of greeting students. Because of Mrs. Jess and all of her contributions to the campus, It’s a Great Year to be a Buccaneer!“
How long have you been involved with Renaissance?
What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
Do I have to choose just one? Every Renaissance moment is such a fun experience for our staffulty and students alike – these moments bring such joy and leave good memories for years to come! I think my all-time favorite is the senior walk and senior pep rally. Students and staffulty are already in the gym, the band and drumline are playing, and then the seniors walk in wearing their caps and gowns. The whole school, staffulty included, goes crazy for these kids. Some of these seniors struggled to make it this far and to see the joy on their faces at THEIR very own pep rally, to see their faces lighting up the gym, melts every single staffulty member’s heart. They are celebrated for this achievement like nobody’s business, and they deserve every single moment. From there, our seniors board busses to walk the halls of their former elementary schools, and the celebration keeps going there as well! I can not say enough good things about this one particular moment, even though there are so many Renaissance moments we have here. These are meaningful moments, moments that these kids (and staffulty) will hold in their hearts forever.
How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
Renaissance has impacted our school culture by making our students and staffulty feel like a family. More students are involved with our school spirit days, our students are definitely missing our rallies this year, and the overall participation from students and staff in our school events has just blown up! Bwood has always been a good school, but since we first started Renaissance through now, you can definitely see the positive impact when you walk in the building. Our student and staff attendance is the highest it’s ever been. All students are recognized, whether it be for sports, academics or extra-curricular activities. Bwood is a place where students and staff want to be!
How has Renaissance affected you personally?
Renaissance has affected me personally by making me a more positive person on campus. It’s hard not to be positive when you are surrounded by people who truly care about their school, have school spirit, and are happy to be a part of everything that Renaissance has to offer. I cannot say enough good things about the Renaissance program. This program brings a school together as a family. I see first hand the impact it has here at Brazoswood and it makes me happy to see how everyone, from student, to teacher, to custodian, to admin, no matter what the job, to feel appreciated and to celebrated!
What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
My advice to someone just starting with Renaissance is to keep at it and don’t stop! The results will definitely come! Keep adding the ideas and projects every so often and make them a tradition! You will have so many great things to look forward to and celebrate and the school spirit will soar!
Stephanie will receive a shirt and a lapel pin to recognize her achievement.
To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Staffulty of the Month honor, click here.