Recognition of outstanding OSD colleagues continues with a new Everyday Hero this week. Everyday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout-out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.
Here is our newest honoree:
Jeff Munsen, Bus Driver, Transportation Department
I want to highlight a very special moment that happened for some of our in-person English Learner students on their bus ride to a school. Students were glowing that their bus driver, Jeff Munsen, asked each student their name upon climbing the steps of the bus.
Here is what students were exclaiming about and proud of when sharing this with their families and teachers: “He told us he wanted to say our name right because it was important to do that. He kept practicing until he got it right. Then he remembered!” Seems like a simple concept, right? But in the lives of many of our English Learners, their self-identity and value shifts a bit when some people struggle to say their name accurately — if they even try. Because of this, sometimes they give the child a nickname, or just say, “Oh, that’s too hard!”, and then say the name how it might sound in English. Since names are our most basic building blocks of our identity, Jeff Munsen made the effort to acknowledge and show value in students’ names. He took the time to learn the name, and respectfully welcome each student aboard by addressing each student by their given name.
Thank you, Jeff Munsen. It seems so simple of a moment for some, but this simple act of respect and cultural responsiveness made an impact on the social-emotional levels of these students that day, and most likely, for a very long time.
Submitted by Heather Randolph, EL Coordinator
How to nominate an Everyday Hero
- Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (email@example.com) a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
- Write “Everyday Heroes” in the subject heading of the email.
- Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
- Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
- Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.
All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.