April Board Meeting-Distinguished Alumni Award

April Board Meeting-Distinguished Alumni Award
Posted on 04/12/2024
This is the image for the news article titled April Board Meeting-Distinguished Alumni AwardCam and Caiden Awards
The Indian Lake Board of Education added Drivers Education to the high school curriculum and presented the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award during their regular April Board of Education meeting. 

The board voted to enter into an agreement with the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center to provide driver education and training. Superintendent Dr. Rob Underwood explains this is a real need for students in our area. 
"It's going to be a combination of classwork that will be online--that can take place in the (Lakertime) classroom or on their own time. Then we're also going to provide the driving portion. We're really excited to be able to offer this to our students starting, hopefully, in the 2024-25 school year."
There will be a cost to the drivers ed program, but Underwood hopes the added convenience of offering the course at school will help students and parents be better able to obtain this needed skill. 
In his report, Superintendent Underwood recognized both Caiden Nicol and Cam Tuttle for their athletic success. Nicol was named Special Mention and Tuttle was named Honorable Mention All-Ohio in Basketball this season.
Dr. Underwood also expressed his gratitude to longtime Indian Lake Elementary School custodian, Deb Anderson. She plans to retire at the end of the school year after serving 27 years for the Indian Lake District. 
Finally, Board of Education members and Dr. Underwood moved to the ILHS auditorium to present the 2024 Indian Lake Schools Distinguished Alumni Award to Jim Jenkins. Mr. Jenkins was a long-time Indian Lake Middle School math teacher and Principal. He later served as Indian Lake Schools Superintendent from 1994-1999. During that time he spearheaded the effort to build a new middle school and add on to the high school. A record 19 community members submitted letters recommending Jenkins for the award. See more about Mr. Jenkins in Dr. Underwood's remarks below. 
The Indian Lake Board of Education will meet again on Monday, May 20th at 6:30 pm in the board office. 

Good evening. My name is Rob Underwood, Superintendent of Indian Lake Schools. Tonight I have the distinct privilege of recognizing a person who is most deserving of the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is an honor bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated significant success in one or more of the following areas: professional achievements and life experiences, contributions to the advancements of others, exceptional service and support of our school, and/or significant service to community, state, or nation. Based on the following summary taken from multiple recommendation letters submitted by former colleagues and community members, you will find that Mr. Jenkins excelled in nearly all of the aforementioned areas. 

James Jenkins graduated from Indian Lake High School in 1963. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Findlay College in 1967 followed by a Master of Education from Wright State University in 1973. In likely his greatest accomplishment in life, he married Georgianna in 1969, his wife of well over 50 years. They couple had 2 children who blessed them with 6 grandchildren. 

From 1967-1971, Mr. Jenkins taught math and coached cross-country, basketball, and baseball at Ridgemont Schools. He was hired at Indian Lake in 1971 where he taught high school math, drove bus, and taught driver’s education until 1975. It was then that he was promoted to the role of middle school principal, a position he held for an amazing 19 years. In 1994, he was named Superintendent and he served in that capacity until 1999 when he retired after 32 years in education with 28 of those years at Indian Lake. He then worked for NEOLA, a school policy company, until 2014. It was during his time at NEOLA that I had the privilege of personally meeting Mr. Jenkins when he was providing services to Ada Schools. He was such a friendly and helpful guy who made a tremendous impact on me during the early years of my administrative career. What was so impressive to me is that he never forgot my name after only having had one short meeting together, and when I was eventually hired at Indian Lake, he was one of the first community members to congratulate me. 

This theme of interpersonal skills and possessing a unique ability to make each and every person he encountered feel valued and important, was interwoven throughout every recommendation letter for the distinguished alumni award. One nominee commented, “Jim lives and breathes Indian Lake. No job was beneath him; from shoveling snow to driving a bus. Jim does not deem himself superior to others, rather he relates to everyone as his equal.” Furthermore, nominees said that he always put his students first. He spent summers memorizing photographs so that he could call each student by their name. In one story, a student who had been in an accident showed up at the Jenkins’ home late at night. Jim got out of bed and spent the entire night with the family. He later stated that he is always available for his students, anytime or anywhere. 

Perhaps Mr. Jenkins’ greatest accomplishment and a major part of his lasting legacy to this community is found in this beautiful auditorium that we are in tonight. It was his visionary leadership that led to the Indian Lake campus, which is a concept that not only continues to serve as a tremendous sense of pride for our constituents, but it also helped to unite the Indian Lake community. Every person who nominated Jim commented that he was the only person who had garnered enough trust to lead a large bond issue and then to see a major construction project through to its completion. Jim worked day and night, often 7 days a week planning the levy campaign. He tirelessly researched tax implications and had an exceptional understanding of the budget required to complete the campus. He met the opposition with grace and understanding, but pressed forward, always keeping students at the forefront of all decision-making. When the levy passed, the even more difficult construction phase ensued, but Jim maintained a positive attitude, often interjecting humor to lighten the mood during long days. When his dream of the construction of the new middle school and high school renovations were complete, at the dedication in the Spring of 1998, Jim responded with the humility that everyone expected. A colleague wrote, “Jim never pretended to take all the credit. He was very generous with accolades for the entire community.”

Although Jim was extraordinarily dedicated to his profession, he still found time for his family and for community service. He was a member of the Logan County Library Board, Mary Rutan Hospital Board, Lions Club, Rotary Club, the Huntsville United Methodist Church, and he coached countless youth sports over the years. Jim’s daughter, Amy, wrote, “He was dedicated to his job as well as his family. I can’t remember a time when he was not at a sporting event or activity I participated in, all while attending most events at Indian Lake Middle School where he was principal. He always had time to study with me or help me with math homework. My dad not only was an amazing role model for me growing up, but has continued to be a role model for me into adulthood.” Jim’s son Rod, provided a similar recollection of his childhood, recalling how Jim seemed to live at Indian Lake Schools, but still found time to spend countless hours encouraging Rod’s academic growth. Jim also practiced basketball with his son helping him to reach his goal of being a starter on a team that finished the year ranked #1. Rod stated, “After high school, throughout my college years and through my adult life, my dad has continued to offer the best support and advice anyone could hope for. He has simply been the best teacher, coach, and friend I ever had.”

The nominating committee received a record 19 letters recommending that Mr. Jenkins be recognized as a Distinguished Alumni and there is not enough time in the day to truly summarize his impact on the Indian Lake School District and community. So, without further ado, it is my privilege and honor to present the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award to Mr. Jim Jenkins.