Over the next several weeks, Lapeer Community Schools will pay tribute to many of the Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic. These are the employees who have been singled out by their colleagues for going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure we could keep our schools open for face-to-face instruction. Each Unsung Hero will receive a gift certificate courtesy of our friends at Meijer in Lapeer.
Perhaps no group has been as adversely impacted by the Pandemic than the District’s at-risk student population. Unfortunately, some of our students do not have adequate support systems outside of school to help them succeed. At the height of the Pandemic, when students needed the daily accountability of school, and the relationships cultivated there, it would have been easy to regress socially and academically.
Enter Jen Taylor. Jen is a secondary learning coach and dropout prevention specialist at Lapeer High School. Her colleagues say that she was the connective tissue that helped many of our at-risk students manage the challenges presented by the Pandemic.
“She reaches out to students on a regular basis to check in with them,” one colleague said. “They have her cell number and often reach out to her evenings and weekends when they are doing their work. Because she has been at this position for a few years, she has a relationship with them and knows what works and doesn’t work for them.”
Jen also has strong relationships with her colleagues, and often reaches out to encourage them to let her know when a student needs some extra support.
“I personally have seen how students respond to her gentle pushes to get work done,” another colleague said.
Jen works with students with very diverse needs, but approaches each with great care and compassion. She is always looking for new and creative ways to reach out to students in need. And she is always accessible.
“She responds when staff members ask her to check in with kids who seem to be teetering,” another colleague said. “She has a way of quickly ascertaining where kids are and what they need.”
Suffice it to say, Jen Taylor was the right person at the right time to support students through tough times.
“Without her efforts, LHS has many kids who would be struggling a lot more, and I hate to say it, completely giving up,” her colleague said. “She can connect dots that individual teachers don’t even know exist.”
On behalf of our school community, we thank Jen Taylor for her unwavering support of our students and staff.