Submitted by Fremont School District 79
Fremont District 79 paraprofessional Jill Merriman was honored with the Lake County Character Matters Award.
This is the 12th annual Excellence in Character Award. The program is sponsored by Character Matters in Lake County, the Lake County Regional Office of Education and the Youth Empowerment for Success Coalition. Merriman was the only individual nominated by Fremont's Lincoln School.
"We selected Jill for this honor because she is kind, compassionate, and her love for children comes out in all she does," said Carol Bennett, principal of the Lincoln Early Learning Center.
"In the 10 years she has worked for Fremont, Jill has been a quiet shining star who always listens, helps, and gently guides students to solve problems," said Principal Bennett. "Jill truly shows why character is so important in our lives and how being a kind, trustworthy, and compassionate person makes a difference in the lives of children."
He added that "Mrs. Merriman is willing to go the extra mile to help students be successful whether it's playing with them on the playground, assisting them with personal hygiene, or engaging them in the classroom. Her daily tone, attitude, and, most of all, listening ear for the children helps the children to trust her and view her as a confidant. Students share things with Jill because they trust her and adore her. Her tone is always kind even when having to correct them."
Merriman's role in the preschool classroom is to assist the teacher. She helps students throughout their day.
"She makes my day run smoothly by lining up children to board the busses, helping children manage their belongings, help with snacks and assist me wherever needed. She never complains and is always the first to help someone else out," said Patricia Olsen, the teacher that Merriman assists.
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