Sunday, September 30, 2007

Farewell to Jennifer O'Connor

Although farewells are a part of military life, it is never easy. Saying goodbye to our head AVID tutor, Jennifer O'Connor, this month was not easy for any of us in AVID. She has been the driving force of the tutorial component at Sigonella for two years.

Mrs. O'Connor spearheaded the Planter Project, an all-AVID community service project that involved cleaning, trimming and beautifying the planters in front of the NEX a year and a half ago. She organized the entire day: assigning students and parents to teams, securing funding, buying supplies, getting lunches provided, coordinating the pickup of dozens of trash bags of clippings, and getting a story in the paper and on AFN. It was HUGE effort and a HUGE success!

Every school day, Mrs. O'Connor was there to work with students and teachers in both curriculum and tutorials. She graded hundreds of binders, stamped hundreds of agendas, collected data for recruitment, interviewed students, attended and worked at Family Workshops, got new students up to speed, said farewell to departing students and tutors, recruited and trained new tutors, lobbied for AVID in the community, built the AVID Certification Binder, had her own father come in as a guest speaker, and much, much more--all with a cheerful disposition and a smiling face! Mrs. O'Connor was the one who mentored, encouraged, pushed, prodded, listened, patted on the back, and led by example. She touched the lives of all the AVID students in ways only they know and realize. She will be sorely missed as she and her family begin a new phase of their lives in Virginia.

Because of her experience in AVID, Mrs. O'Connor is moving toward getting certification to teach herself. We think that is a GREAT idea!

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What a nice article Maryellen. Jennifer will be hard to replace.
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