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Janessa Walters

Janessa Walters

Janessa Walters, Student Assistance Counselor at Linn-Mar High School, recently completed all of the necessary requirements to be officially certified as a National Dropout Prevention Specialist.

The process to earn the certification was a lengthy one. Janessa earned her certification through the National Dropout Prevention Center in South Carolina. It included attending Dropout Prevention Network Conferences in South Carolina and Florida to learn from experienced professionals in the field of Dropout Prevention. Walters says, “This really helped to further my learning.”  

Janessa attended accredited sessions that met the criteria of the program and submitted a project Field Report showing her current efforts to reduce the number of high school dropouts and increase student engagement.

Ms. Walters chose to focus on Dropout Prevention Programming. “Of everything I’ve learned over the past two and a half years of working to become certified through the NDPC, was that student engagement and building relationships was the key ingredient to success in this area. Academic interventions are always necessary, but if a student doesn’t feel like they belong apart of their school community – this is where we fail them. For me, not only do I not want to see students drop out, but I want to see students thrive and succeed. I want to see students who are on the “bubble”, as we call it, choose to go in the direction that will elevate them to get to a place where they are thriving into adulthood and not just surviving.” Walters said.

Ms. Walters is the sponsor of ALO (Accountability, Leadership and Opportunity) at Linn-Mar High School. ALO is a multicultural student leadership group focusing on promoting a positive community among students from diverse backgrounds.

The program has been so successful, it is expanding to other buildings throughout the district.

We want to congratulate Janessa on her new certification and thank all the Student Assistance Counselors for their tireless dedication to the students at Linn-Mar everyday.