See original article published in the Great Bend Tribune: https://www.gbtribune.com/news/local-news/gbhs-staff-member-selected-jag-national-training-academy/

Jennifer Hopkins, a career specialist for Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) at Great Bend High School, was recently selected to participate in the organization’s National Training Academy (NTA). 

The national headquarters for Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) selected Hopkins as one of only 20 for the first NTA class. Hopkins will occasionally be called upon to instruct staff across the nation in the effective delivery of the program. With a network of 39 states, JAG relies upon trainers like Hopkins to ensure that all professional development is consistent and aligned to the JAG Model. 

“This is well-deserved recognition for Jennifer and demonstrates the great work she does in Kansas,” JAG-K President/CEO Chuck Knapp said. “The national organization uses a “train the trainer” model and leverages talent from across the country to make the entire network stronger.”   

JAG selected people who have a cross-section of skills ranging from curriculum development, virtual learning, facilitation strategies and private sector experience. During time off from her job with JAG-K, Hopkins can help staff from other states, as well as her coworkers in Kansas.  

“The NTA trainers selected are much more than traditional instructors,” said Karey Webb, JAG senior director. “They have a passion for the students and specialists of JAG, and it came across in their applications and interviews. They have the ability to quickly develop relationships and to activate creative, flexible learning environments. They lead by example, have a passion for JAG students and a “spark” to make learning fun.”   

“It speaks well for Jennifer, and for JAG-K, that we have staff who possess skills that can and should be shared with other members of the JAG team,” said Knapp. “We place a lot of emphasis on training in Kansas, and it pays off in the success of our students.” 

GBHS Principal Tim Friess commented, “Jennifer’s passion for the students in her care is what makes her an ideal trainer for other JAG teachers. Her care and concern for her program is what sets her apart. This is a well-deserved honor.”