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Thursday, February 21, 2019

First Portrait of a Graduate Global Leader Award Winners Announced

Fort Thomas Independent Schools' Portrait of a Graduate identifies what grads should know, do and be like.

Jerrod Dempsey and Terry Gruelle accept an award for Gruelle-Dempsey Orthodonics, named as a global leader and empathetic collaborator.
Six people received the first Portrait of a Graduate Global Leader awards at the December Fort Thomas Independent School Boards meeting. 

The awards, created by Superintendent Karen Cheser and her team, honors those whose contributions to Fort Thomas schools and community exemplify the qualities identified in the Portrait of a Graduate initiative. 
Woodfill Teacher Leah Fryman accepts award as empathetic collaborator from Jamee Flaherty.

"Any student, any parent, community member, teacher, staff member or administrator can be nominated by anyone in our community, and the nomination is aligned to our Portrait of a Graduate," Cheser explained. 

The winners’ contributions touch on one or several of the core competencies: global communicator, empathetic collaborator, curious critical thinker, creative problem solver and courageous leader. 

Highlands science teacher Colleen Epperson was honored as a courageous leader and global communicator.
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Jamee Flaherty presented the awards.

First up was Gruelle-Dempsey Orthodonics, represented by Jerrod Dempsey and Terry Gruelle. Flaherty shared a story about why the company was chosen for exemplifying both global leader and empathetic collaborator. 

Highlands High School teacher Mike Lipscomb was named an empathetic collaborator.
"On November 15th, we had a power outage at both the high school and middle school, and with that came some challenges. We were in the central office determining what our next steps would be...We were lucky to receive a phone call from Dr. Gruelle and Dr. Dempsey’s office to share that they would be able to help us problem solve with our lunch situation," she said. 

"They provided a hot lunch for all of our middle and high school students that included Marcos Pizza, Skyline and many other vendors…We recognize you for stepping up and for your connection to our community and we thank you for your support."

Highlands High teacher John Warford received an award as an empathetic collaborator.
Next was teacher Leah Fryman, nominated by Woodfill Principal Keith Faust as an empathetic collaborator. Faust wrote that Fryman’s energy and enthusiasm has been contagious. She is known for collaborating both inside and outside the classroom, bringing together outside businesses, groups of students and others for special projects. 

Highlands High School science teacher Colleen Epperson was recognized by her colleague Daniella (Del) Ehemann for courageous leadership and global communication. After observing a similar program at another school district, Epperson developed a new online environmental science course for Highlands. 

"No one in our department has ever done something like that, and you have really shown courageous leadership…You are enjoying it, invigorated by it, students are loving it and it’s enticing you to do even more…It’s exciting to watch and your enthusiasm is infectious," said Ehemann to Epperson in her nomination letter. 

Highlands High teacher Melissa Trumbach was recognized as a courageous leader.
A new teacher at Highlands High School, Kim Klein, nominated three fellow teachers for their help, support and willingness to reach out to her as a new colleague. 

She nominated Mike Lipscomb as an empathetic collaborator for his willingness to help her with technology questions and for consistently checking with her, sharing tips and ideas and for going the extra mile to help her. 

John Warford, was also nominated by Klein as an empathetic collaborator. She said he took extra care with her as a new person at the school, making sure she had all the materials and information she needed to make a smooth transition.

Klein nominated Melissa Trimbach as a courageous leader. She said Trimbach has reached out in numerous ways, taking time out during the summer to give a tour and provide transition information and support. She also checks in with Klein weekly to see how she is doing.

"You can see why we are such a great school district. We have such great people." said Cheser. "This was just the first set of awards. There will be many more each month."

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