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News > Wing recognizes "smooth-talking" teacher
Wing recognizes
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan Rhonda Jackson, a Speech and Language Pathologist at Sollars Elementary, has been selected to receive the 35th Fighter Wing's "You Made a Difference" Award on March 9. (Courtesy Photo)
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Wing recognizes "smooth-talking" teacher

Posted 3/5/2010   Updated 3/5/2010 Email story   Print story


by Faye Jenkins
DoDDS Liason

3/5/2010 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Year of the Air Force Family recognizes the contributions and sacrifices family members make to support Airmen throughout the world. This month, the 35th Fighter Wing recognizes a member of the Misawa Air Base community who has supported the families here for more 15 years.

Rhonda Jackson, a Speech and Language Pathologist at Sollars Elementary, has been selected to receive the 35th FW's "You Made a Difference" Award on March 9.

"Ms. Jackson gets kids," said Jim Journey, Sollars Elementary School principal. "They are attracted to her positive energy and love being around her. Ms. Jackson has a gift for turning tedious activities into fun learning sessions through the use of games, silly faces, jokes and praise."

She assisted more than 900 children during her tenure as part of the Special Education Program at Sollars Elementary School, addressing a wide range of concerns including autism, cleft palate, stuttering, hearing impairment and learning disabilities.

"By providing these special education services here, families with special needs children can come to Misawa confident that their children will receive necessary care and enjoy a good quality of life," said Colonel RC Craig, 35 FW vice commander.

Through Ms. Jackson's efforts, students learned to listen, enunciate correctly and overcome speech impediments. She promoted nonverbal skills such as eye contact and body language to help students improve relationships, academics and their self-esteem.

"I have fun working with students and make sure they have fun too," said Ms. Jackson. "By giving them permission to laugh when I make mistakes, they remain encouraged and laugh at themselves when they make them. It's really about taking learning out of the therapy session and classroom and moving it into the larger realm of the child's life both at home and in the community."

Ms. Jackson's service extended to outside the classroom as well. She participated in the annual Child Finds program, screening 3- and 4-year-old children to detect developmental delays as well as training the staff at the child development center how to identify at-risk indicators in children. She helped teachers with speaking techniques so children understand better and co-chaired the Sollars Student Council community service efforts.

"Ms Jackson's dedication and commitment have enhanced the lives of hundreds of Misawa's families for many years," said Col. Craig. "The Wing is pleased to recognize her exemplary service."

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