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2021-22 Above & Beyond Awards winner: Jennifer Carls

Jennifer Carls

“Jennifer brings a light that beacons the way for others to see what is possible in a joyous and commendable way. Her positivity is contagious, and her love of students extends more than I have ever seen." -Kristine Loeffelholz, secretary

“Chin up, shoulders back, you got this!” If you’re a Mississippi Elementary School student having a tough day, you’re likely to hear this favorite phrase from school year secretary Jennifer Carls, along with a heaping dose of care and positivity. 

“Jennifer sees the importance of connecting with students, families and the community,” said Kristine Loeffelholz, who nominated Carls. “She wants every student to be included and feel like they are part of the Mississippi Otter family. If they are in need of anything, she will find a way or a resource to ensure that every student is taken care of educationally and emotionally.”

Carls said she tries her absolute best to go the extra mile for the Mississippi Elementary students, staff, and families every day. She will invite kids having a hard day to eat lunch in the office with her, make a pleasant phone call to a parent, seek out resources or needed items for struggling students, and make sure substitutes feel supported. 

“It is my hope that every student, staff, parent and community member knows that Mississippi Elementary is a place of warmth and friendship and where the doors are always open,” Carls said, “and I will be the first to greet you!”

The 2022 Above & Beyond Awards ceremony to honor Carls and 13 other exceptional employees will take place April 13 at the Educational Service Center (ESC).