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2023-24 Above & Beyond Awards recipient: Lori De Jong

Lori De Jong“Whether it is supporting students who may need a break from class, setting up fun events for staff members or responding to questions from families and community members, Lori's impact on the Lincoln community goes far beyond the office.” - Michelle Zimmerman, principal, Lincoln Elementary School.

A valued member of the school’s leadership team, Lori De Jong, the school office supervisor at Lincoln Elementary, is the ‘go-to’ person at Lincoln because of her willingness to do whatever is needed to foster the best possible school experience for all.

De Jong brings forward concerns and suggestions to problems that she observes, or that come to her from staff, students and families. Her willingness to collaborate with staff members to seek solutions to improve the processes and procedures help keep the school running smoothly and constantly improving.

“I hope the work I do and the relationships I build always has a positive impact on the Lincoln staff, students, family members and other Anoka-Hennepin employees,” De Jong said.

Known as Ms. Lori to the students, De Jong is always ready to answer the call - to a classroom, cafeteria or even recess - to support a student in need.

“Lori genuinely demonstrates care and concern for all of the students at Lincoln, and as a result,
they trust her implicitly,” Zimmerman said.

In her nearly 21 years in Anoka-Hennepin, De Jong has served at both Wilson and Lincoln elementaries. In addition to her current role, she has excelled in a variety of positions that include school year secretary, volunteer services coordinator, elementary paraprofessional and special education paraprofessional. After a pair of decades and a handful of different positions, it’s the students and the families that matter most to De Jong.

“I am usually the first person many families have contact with at Lincoln, so it is important to me to be sure they get a good first impression of where their child will be attending school and that I’ll always be a contact for them,” De Jong said. 

The 2024 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony to honor De Jong and 14 other exceptional employees will take place April 3 at the Educational Service Center (ESC).