Jodi West and Jennifer Willette

September 2016 KSSN Spotlight

Jodi West (left) and Jennifer Willette (right)

For the month of September, we are shining a bright spotlight on our two community school coordinators in the Cedar Springs Public Schools district, Jennifer Willette and Jodi West. Jennifer, who has been with KSSN for six years, is the coordinator at Cedar View Elementary, and Jodi, who has been with KSSN for seven years, is the coordinator at Cedar Springs Middle School.

As community school coordinators, Jodi and Jennifer build meaningful, trusting relationships with students, families, and school staff. Through these relationships, they are able to help families with barriers they may be facing, such as basic needs, or coordinating services for physical or mental health. When barriers are eliminated, students are better positioned to succeed, parents are empowered, and teachers have more time to focus on instruction. They also build partnerships with businesses, community organizations, and the faith-based community, leveraging resources for the schools, and strengthening the community-school relationship.

When asked about their favorite part of the job, Jennifer says it is “The variety.  Not only is everyday different, every moment is different!” Jodi says, “I love that I can have an impact in the very community in which I live. I love reconnecting with former students and seeing their faces light up when they realize that their former preschool teacher is now here to support them, ten years later!”

In terms of what makes them proudest about the work that they do, Jodi and Jennifer say it is watching families become resourceful and confident, and seeing the pride parents have when they’re able to advocate for themselves and their children. They’re also tremendously proud of the work they’ve done at the Cedar Springs Mobile Estates in the summertime. With nearly 200 Cedar Springs students living in the Estates, the KSSN team, school staff, and community partners, have brought in summer programming and resources, maintaining their connections to the families, and helping the kids stay engaged during summer break.

And, when not busy in the schools, what do our Cedar Springs coordinators like to do for fun and relaxation? You can find Jennifer reading, traveling, cooking, and decorating her home. Jodi loves to be outdoors, kayaking, golfing, and cross-country skiing, and both Jennifer and Jodi say spending time with family and friends is their favorite way to pass their time.

We are so proud of the hard work and relationships that both Jodi West and Jennifer Willette have forged in the Cedar Springs community. They bring many strengths and passion to their work, and have inspired other coordinators with their energy, spirit, and love for the people they serve and the school staff they work with.