Amanda Jerome has been named a 2019 ACT College and Career Readiness Workforce Champion for the state of Kentucky. Jerome serves as college and career readiness coordinator for the Daviess County Public Schools district.
The national recognition honors individuals who have demonstrated exemplary dedication to preparing students for success post-secondary education and in the workplace. Criteria for selection includes creating or leading programs that have a positive impact on communities and development of community partnerships.
Jerome is an enthusiastic advocate of the benefits of college and career readiness initiatives in the DCPS district.
“To me, College and Career Readiness means I am preparing students for life after high school,” she said. “It’s about preparing them for what lies ahead. My inspiration for making a difference with students comes from watching them grow and thrive. It makes my job worthwhile when I see a student inspired and eager to begin their next phase of life prepared for what lies ahead.”
Jerome was nominated for the award by Cristy Dame, a guidance counselor at Apollo High School who sees firsthand the impact her colleague has on the lives and futures of students. Dame was eager to share an overview of Jerome’s contributions to the DCPS district and community.
“Amanda Jerome has worked tirelessly to help create special pathways for students to have additional options than just the traditional regular diploma high school path,” Dame said. “We have around 250 students from five area high schools who participate in Community Campus, earning college credit as early as ninth grade. Amanda created the DCPS Early College Academy in 2016. Last year, DCPS graduated 24 students with associate’s degrees. Currently, we have 85 students on track to earn their associate’s degrees, out of the 137 total who are enrolled at Owensboro Community and Technical College. Amanda was instrumental in supporting an existing community partnership with Wright Implement, which provides internship opportunities for students, and this year, she added another internship option in collaboration with Regional Water Resource Agency. In addition to our annual junior college fairs in the district, Amanda added a career fair last year to provide connections with local employers for students who don’t plan to go to college after graduating from high school.”
Dame also referred to the excellent partnerships Jerome has with OCTC, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Brescia University and Western Kentucky University and how she has implemented FAFSA information workshops in high schools to help seniors and families file financial aid applications for college.
“Amanda also coordinates the Life Science Academy and Engineering Academy components of Community Campus,” Dame continued. “She holds many evening events for students and parents to educate our community of the different opportunities available to students, and she visits elementary and middle schools to help educate our younger students about college and careers. She is a true servant for families and students in the Daviess County area.”
Jerome said the nomination and award are very meaningful to her, but her greatest reward is seeing students empowered and prepared to transition from high school to successful lives in college and the workplace. As is characteristic of her, Jerome was also quick to give credit to others.
“It was such an honor to be nominated for the Kentucky ACT Workforce Champion by my colleagues,” Jerome said. “I am truly blessed to work in Daviess County Public Schools and honestly love what I do. I am so fortunate to work with not only the students, but the many exceptional counselors, CCR coaches, teachers and administrators whom I interact with on a daily basis. I love talking with students about their goals for life after high school. Being able to assist them in making their plans a reality always makes me feel happy and proud for them. We are fortunate to live in a community like Daviess County where the opportunities are endless; we are able to offer our students numerous pathways that ensure they will have a successful career. I am so humbled to have a small part in all of it.”