Hartman receives national JAG award

By Alberta Stojkovic

Mount Gilead High School Jobs for Ohio Graduates (JOGS) Specialist, Gerry Hartman was recognized at the National Jobs for America Graduates (JAG) convention as Outstanding JOG Specialist.

Hartman said she started the JOG program with only 15 students at Mount Gilead High School (MGHS) 22 years ago and now has 57 students who are in the program year-around.

“I concentrate on what they need to know in the work environment and also the things I am comfortable with,” Hartman said. “I believe that is why the program is successful.”

Students make a choice to be in the JOGS program their freshman year and most continue all four years. Really getting to know students also makes the program a success.

MGHS Principal Deb Clauss said, “I can’t begin to name all the activities that her JOG students have already done this year.”

Clauss listed JOG providing the “Little Buddies” program for elementary students, making blankets for people in need, conducting spirit week for students and adopting families for the holidays.

“MGHS JOG students are leaders at both district and state competitions as well as participating in the national leadership conference,” Clauss added.

Hartman said the JOG Program gives students competency in both life and work skills after high school, whether they go on to college, military or work.

“We do lots of career research,” Hartman said “There are 82 areas of competency from public speaking to how to balance a check book.”

Other areas students work on in the 40 minute class are in depth leadership, job and college application, how to do a resume, letter writing, establishing credit, citizenship and giving back to the community.

The JOGS program is supervised by GOAL Digital Academy. Some funding is through grants and some by the school district.

Hartman’s award is based on “successfully implementing the JAG Model and achieving extraordinary outcomes for JAG participants.”

Trust builds up through students’ four years of relationship with Hartman and the class. She follows up with students after graduation and often shares their experience in their work with current students.

Hartman said her students have been from all backgrounds. Some have been very high achievers academically. She has also had students who struggled with school and blossomed in their work environment.

She recently heard from a young man who disliked having to do public speaking in her class, He told her it was his public speaking that helped win his company a $200,000 contract.

The Mount Gilead Kindergarten teacher, Mykala Layer is a former JOG student. She works with Hartman and her JOG classes with the “Little Buddies” program.

“It makes me smile,” said Hartman. “It’s a rewarding job.”