Jody Hess: A Lifetime of Dedication to Gifted Education

Jody Hess: A Lifetime of Dedication to Gifted Education

WAETAG’s Past President Receives the Kari DeMarco Lifetime Achievement Award

In the realm of education, there are those who teach, and then there are those who inspire, lead, and drive transformative change. Jody Hess, a founding member of WAETAG (Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted) in 1982 and a former President of the organization, undoubtedly belongs to the latter category. For over four decades, Jody Hess has been an unwavering advocate for gifted education in Washington state, leaving an indelible mark on the field, and this year, WAETAG proudly recognizes her remarkable contributions with the prestigious Kari DeMarco Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Journey Begins: A Founding Member’s Vision

Jody Hess’s journey into the world of gifted education began with a vision, a vision of providing opportunities for the brightest minds to thrive and excel. In 1982, Jody was one of the founding members of WAETAG, an organization dedicated to nurturing and supporting gifted students in the state. From the outset, it was clear that her commitment to this cause was boundless.

Leading by Example: A Tireless Advocate

As WAETAG’s Past President, Jody Hess worked tirelessly to advance the mission of the organization. She not only brought her passion for gifted education to the forefront but also her determination to make a difference. Her leadership and advocacy resulted in significant strides for gifted education in Washington state, from creating awareness and advocacy to implementing practical strategies and programs.

Jody’s leadership wasn’t just about holding a title; it was about her unwavering commitment to better the lives of gifted students. She recognized that gifted education needed champions, and she rose to the occasion. Her work was more than a job; it was a calling.

Mentorship and Empowerment: Inspiring Educators

A true measure of Jody’s impact is her commitment to investing in others. She has consistently inspired and guided educators, providing program and service support, convincing them of their own capacity to improve, and supporting them with a range of resources and coaching. Her leadership style encourages a culture of experimentation and innovation, where educators are empowered to push the boundaries and explore new ways to nurture gifted students.

The Kari DeMarco Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizing Excellence

The Kari DeMarco Lifetime Achievement Award is not bestowed lightly. It is a recognition of individuals who have made extraordinary, significant, and sustained contributions to the field of gifted education in Washington state. Jody Hess epitomizes these criteria, and this year, WAETAG proudly celebrates her dedication to the cause.

Enriching Lives, Impacting Communities

Jody Hess’s remarkable achievements extend far beyond the classroom. Her tireless efforts have not only enriched the lives of gifted students but have also made a significant impact on the education community in our state. She has left an indelible legacy that will continue to shape the future of gifted education in Washington for generations to come.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Excellence

Jody Hess is more than a dedicated educator; she is a beacon of hope for gifted students and a guiding light for educators across Washington state. Her lifetime of dedication, advocacy, and mentorship has laid a strong foundation for gifted education, and her impact continues to reverberate. As she receives the Kari DeMarco Lifetime Achievement Award, it is a testament to her unwavering commitment to a cause that enriches the lives of countless students and strengthens the educational fabric of our state.

In honoring Jody Hess, we not only celebrate her achievements but also the promise of a brighter future for gifted education in Washington. Her journey is an inspiration for all, a reminder that with dedication, passion, and a genuine desire to make a difference, we can change the lives of those who need it most.

Jody Hess and Amy Phillips, WAETAG Executive Director
Jody Hess and Marcia Holland, both 2023 Award Recipients

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