Logan-Rogersville's Teri Jernigan has been named the 2020 Southwest Missouri School Counselor Association (MSCA) Administrator of the Year.
MSCA honors a counselor advocate, director of school counseling or supervisor/administrator who has demonstrated exceptional support for the field of school counseling. Honorees for supervisor/administrator must be individuals who supervise and evaluate school counselors. Nominees for the state award must have received their MSCA district award in order to be considered.
"I have known all year I was going to nominate Teri, but started the process in January by submitting her name to the Southwest School Counselor Association for consideration," said Julie Watson, counselor at Logan-Rogersville Upper Elementary School. "Her student-centered approach to being a principal means she has always supported the counseling program. I have been blessed to work with her for the past 10 years."
Watson added that once she received word that Jernigan had reached the second step in the nominating process, she then spoke with the teachers and staff along with the sixth-grade student council about writing letters of support.
According to Watson, they still submitted three letters. However, one letter was signed by the whole staff, one was signed by the nine student council members and one was written by the school nurse. She also was required to submit a more detailed letter explaining why she was nominating Jernigan. Jernigan found out a couple weeks ago that she received the award.
"Julie, along with the office staff and nurse, all brought me into the office and gave me a copy of the award," said Jernigan. "It was a sweet surprise. I felt very honored to know that the teachers, staff and students were all involved, and I was humbled by what they had to say in their letters. Since this had been a work in progress since last fall, I couldn't believe everyone kept it a secret."
Watson said the original plan was for Jernigan to accompany her to the Spring Counselor/Administrator Brunch in early April.
"My plan was to not tell her and let her hear her name and the brunch," said Lawson. With COVID-19, Lawson said that changed things, but Jernigan will still join her for the Fall Southwest Counselor Association meeting in October, where they will celebrate her with counselors from the southwest Missouri area.
Jernigan has been in the Logan-Rogersville School District for 30 years. She taught third and fourth grade for 10 years and has been principal at the Logan-Rogersville Upper Elementary (LRUE) for 20 years.
"I have learned to be patient and always be on my toes," said Jernigan. "Going to work each day, I never knew what challenges were ahead for the day. I learned to accept people for who they are and work with them to always do what’s best for the kids."
Jernigan started working for Logan-Rogersville in1990. After being a teacher for several years, she was ready to do something different, but still wanted to work with children. With a little push, Jernigan started her next degree in administration. In 2000, she was hired as the LRUE principal.
"I have loved being in this position, supporting and encouraging teachers/staff to be a continuous learner and to always do what’s right for our kids," said Jernigan. "I think what makes a good administrator is a good listener. Many times all that’s needed is a listening ear. Communication is the best way to closely work with others. Of course, loving kids and the people you work with is just as important."