November Employee of the Month Sergeant Jonathan Peace

Sergeant Jonathan Peace has been with the Jonesborough Police Department for approximately 7 ½ years. He has continuously proven himself and risen to the rank of Sergeant, Field Training Officer, and General Department Instructor. He has never ceased showing his knowledge, commitment, and dedication to the department and our community.

On the afternoon of June 14, 2022, Sgt. Jonathan Peace responded to a motor vehicle accident call near the intersection of E. Main St. and Fox St. in downtown Jonesborough. When Sgt. Peace arrived, Michael Daniels, one of the drivers, had been pulled from his vehicle unconscious and placed on the side of the road. It was quickly determined that Mr. Daniels was in cardiac arrest. Sgt. Peace immediately jumped into action beginning CPR. He continued chest compressions as EMS personnel worked to assist in life-saving measures. Sgt. Peace continued these compressions in the blazing East Tennessee Summer heat without complaint or ceasing in his efforts.

When special medical equipment took over chest compressions on the patient, he helped with securing and moving the patient to a waiting ambulance. Sgt. Jonathan Peace saved Michael Daniels’ life. Without his prompt response, calm composure, and level-headedness in an emergency, this incident would have ended very differently. After the patient was transported from the scene, Sgt. Peace continued with absolute professionalism to all parties involved in the accident. He was compassionate as he contacted the next of kin of Mr. Daniels. He was sympathetic in speaking with the other driver, Sandra Stelter who was visibly anxious given the circumstance. Sgt. Peace exemplified the definition of serving his community. He contacted the hospital to check on his welfare the following day.

The Jonesborough Police Department Life Saving Award is given to those who go beyond to save a life. Sgt. Jonathan Peace is one of those people. We are pleased to recommend Sergeant Jonathan Ryan Peace as the recipient of the Life Saving Commendation and wish to recognize him as the employee of the month.

 

Thank you, Sergeant Jonathan Peace! You are appreciated!

October Employee of The Month – Sergeant Jeff White

September 28, 2022 Sergeant Jeff White has been with the Jonesborough Fire and Police Departments for many years. He has continually demonstrated commitment and dedication to the public in his years of service.

On the evening of September 7, 2022, Sgt. Jeff White responded to a fire at Jonesborough Barrel House located at 119 E. Main Street. When Sgt. White arrived, he found a small building at the back of the address fully engulfed in flames. Sgt. White and the Jonesborough Fire Department leaped into action. Given the nature of the already engulfed building and foregoing his safety, Sgt. Jeff White began fighting the fire in his Police uniform when he heard people calling out from an apartment next to the outbuilding. The individuals in the apartment had no way to exit the building safely. Without hesitation, he focused on getting those trapped to safety. His years of training and experience ensured Sgt. White was able to keep the fire from spreading to the apartment and injuring anyone. He assisted in getting those individuals down from the apartment and away from the blaze.

After Sgt. White secured their safety, he continued to fight the fire saving surrounding historic buildings from damage and ruin. He never stopped working to fight the fire despite the exhausting conditions. Sgt. Jeff White’s efforts irrefutably save buildings adjacent to the property and potential loss of life by keeping the fire from escalating. Sgt. White embodied the police motto “to protect and serve” with his actions. Therefore, we are strongly recommending Sergeant Jeff White for Employee of the Month for his heroic and brave actions.

Thank you, Sergeant Jeff White! You are appreciated!

September Employee of The Month – Jules Corriere

I would like to nominate Jules Corriere for Employee of the Month.  Jules Corriere has worked for the Town of Jonesborough for about ten years now.  Most know that Jules writes our annual community play and the Radio Show each month, but much of what Jules does on a day-to-day basis goes unseen.

For years, Jules has spent time meeting residents of Jonesborough and Washington County.  She quickly builds relationships with them; her glowing personality and charm make people comfortable enough to tell her the stories of their lives, their military service, their struggles, their victories, etc.  Jules has collected hundreds of stories since her time here and because of her the town is capturing stories that would otherwise be lost.

Each month, Jules takes these stories and turns them into a one-hour radio show that performs live.  The StoryTown Radio Show is now in its eleventh season; with 11 performances each year, that means Jules has written over 100 plays about and for the Town of Jonesborough, not including writing and performing for town events, departments, and the McKinney Center’s own annual community plays.

Jules manages the Radio Show cast of approximately 30 individuals. Through her direction, I have seen many of her actors gain confidence in their speaking and performing abilities.  They go on to audition and win parts in JRT productions.  The most heartwarming observation is her work with the youngest members of the cast.  After several years of watching these kids on stage, I’ve witnessed them overcome shyness and find their voice. Their growth comes, in part, from the nurturing and educational environment of the Radio Show. In a time where communities struggle with social issues, Jonesborough should be proud to have an organization like the Radio Show. The youngest member is 5 and the oldest is in their 80s; members are from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and socio-economic levels.  She makes sure it’s a place where everyone’s story is valid, understood, and appreciated. Not only can this be seen in the cast, but in the audience, as well. If you’ve attended one of the Radio Show’s sold-out performances, you’ve seen a very diverse group of individuals in the seats. This is by Jules’s design; she makes sure that everyone feels wanted and welcomed.

One of the most significant recent projects Jules was a part of was the play, We Did It Together.

Despite Covid, Jules still collected stories over the past two years.  She and her Story Brigade (her group of trained, trusted story collectors) gathered stories by phone, email, written letters, and once it was safe again to meet face-to-face, they were back to collecting stories in person.

Jules spent countless hours preparing for this show.  Between April and June, Jules worked 6 days a week.  We altered her schedule so that she came into work late so that she could stay late for rehearsals.  During this time, her only day off was on Wednesdays, technically. She had daily/nightly production meetings and rehearsals with her crew during the week, rehearsed most of Saturday and Sunday afternoons; even her Wednesday mornings off, she was still answering emails, promoting the play on TV and radio, or scouring the Goodwill racks for costumes. Not to mention being at every performance and stepping in a major role when an actress was unable to reprise their role for the rescheduled dates.

The play was a huge undertaking and would not have been possible without the dedication of many town staff and their skills; however, we could have not had a successful run without Jules’s skill in playwriting and passion for theatre. I asked some of Jules’s cast members to say a few words in support of this nomination.  Here are a few of their responses:

During We Did It Together, she was there lending her guidance and support throughout the entire rehearsal process. She also, as the playwright, captured one of her most profound theater pieces on paper. She is a skilled storyteller, a phenomenal writer and will go above and beyond to help anyone who needs it. Jules has her finger on the heartbeat of the community and knows what it takes to make these stories resonate with the public. Jules not only deserves the employee of the month but the employee of the year! – Sabra Hayden

I first met Jules over 10 years ago when the group came to Jonesborough to do the first play “I Am Home.”  Back then, I thought she was very energetic and had a real future.  Watching her through the years has confirmed this.  Jules doesn’t put the project first; she puts the people first because she has learned that this will make the project successful.  All involved learn to take ownership and build community.  People are attracted to Jules because of her energy and hard work.  She works many long hours behind the scenes and still makes time to try and make people stretch their talents. She shares her talents with everyone and encourages others to do the same.  She deserves the employee of the month.  – Linda Poland

I recently had the privilege of working with Jules Corriere while performing the community play “We Did It Together.” Right from the beginning, I was impressed with the exceptional quality of the play that Jules wrote, especially the way that she crafted local histories into vignettes that coalesced into a story with the central theme of community building. As a writer, I know how many long hours go into drafting and editing work of this caliber and can appreciate the sleepless nights and weekends spent in front of a keyboard to get the words right. It takes a lot of perseverance to write well, and with that dedication comes sacrifice; time with family and friends is traded off in the hope that something in the story will be meaningful to a wider audience. Jules must have sacrificed many, many personal hours to write this play because it truly showed in the finished product.  But even beyond the writing, Jules was the biggest star of the show. Not in the way typically thought of as a “star” because she wasn’t a leading actress. Her light shined on all of us, not on an audience. She began work on the performance side of things as a co-director and humbly slipped into a consultant role to allow Richard Owen Geer a larger role as director. But Jules continued to manage and advise and encourage all of us amateur actors as we stumbled through rehearsals. She also helped work on sets and clean up the theater after our rehearsals. She never complained when someone forgot to put away props or send out reminders or any of the thousands of other little jobs delegated to everyone involved in the play. Instead, she took on the responsibility and made sure the job was done.  If Academy Awards were given out for community plays, Jules would win, hands down, for Best Playwright, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Stagehand for being the backbone of We Did It Together. – Annette Zimmerman

Jules took a group of strangers of widely disparate ages, cultures, and skill levels and turned us into a family.  She worked around everyone’s schedules, in spite of inconvenience to her, and made everyone feel welcomed.  More than employee of the month, Jules should be Employee of the Year. – Laurie Herlich

Jules is held in high regard by all who have worked with her including numerous volunteers and is respected for her integrity, compassion and collaborative work style.  Jules came to Jonesborough with a rich, storied (pun intended!) history of creative development and direction.  She has the ability to energize any group of people and create a community for whatever project she is leading.

Jules has a broad range of skills and distinguishes herself whether she is writing a grant, gathering community stories and training a team to do the same, inspiring and bringing out the best in children as well as adults, and developing a monthly radio show and podcast now in its 11th year.  She is a dedicated advocate for the Town of Jonesborough. – Katy Rosolowski

I want you to know Jules is such a kind and caring person.  My first time I met her was at the Jonesborough Senior Center when we were doing a play there. She was so full of enthusiasm, telling me about being in town, her plays, asking me if I’ve ever thought about being a story collector for the Jonesborough town plays. I explained to her that I just moved here myself and didn’t feel comfortable because I didn’t know anyone   She told me, “I could be here one day or a lifetime and it doesn’t matter. What matters is participating in community.” Jonesborough loves people, opens its arms to everyone. From that point on, I’ve been doing my best to be part of Jonesborough.  Her words and encouragement gave me the push to get involved. – Kathleen O’Brien

 

I’ve nominated Jules for Employee of the Month because I believe she has shown extreme dedication to her duties, to the Town of Jonesborough, and to the people who live here!

Theresa Hammons

Director, McKinney Center

Thank you, Jules Corriere! You are appreciated!

July Employee of The Month – Donna Freeman

I would like to nominate Donna Freeman for the distinction of Employee of the Month for July 2022. Donna is the Executive Assistant for Town Hall, but does the job of many titles. Donna, on many occasions, has gone above and beyond for not only the General Department, but the Town. On a routine basis, Donna handles information for the Board of Mayor and Alderman, Planning Commission, Health Assessments, helping with the Budget, Town event flyers, JRT playbills and much more! No matter what Donna is facing she is sure to finish it in a timely manner and with excellent quality! When anyone has a question, their first stop is almost always her. On top of her routine roles, she has added trainer, mentor, friend, and the affectionate name of Nana as Glenn refers to her when trouble comes and you need wise advice. She has been a wonderful mentor and someone I greatly look up to! When things become stressful, she makes them seem simple. She is who you would want on your team.

Speaking of “team”, Town Hall is what I would like to think of as a family unit. We all work hard together, look out for one another and share a lot of laughter with one another. Donna is a very large part of that family unit and what makes it work. She is the glue, if you will. She holds us all together and helps us all with any issues we may face and is there when we need her the most as well as when we just need to smile. When things get hard, you will never receive a complaint from Donna, but you will receive an impeccable job well done!

For these reasons, and many–many more, I feel that Donna deserves the honor of receiving Employee of the Month for July 2022.

 

Thank you, Donna Freeman! You are appreciated!

June Employee of The Month – John Saylor

John Saylor joined the senior center staff in 2021, as our Program Coordinator. John brings a wealth of knowledge and great ideas with him. John has a background in IT and he has been able to utilize our sound equipment to its full potential and is providing the growth in audio visual capabilities that the senior center has desperately needed. We look forward to offering our senior center plays again and dance performance groups and his expertise will definitely be utilized. I continue to be impressed with John’s calm nature, no matter what is asked of him he jumps in and calmly manages whatever is thrown his way. Recently, I asked for staff volunteers to complete some outdoor maintenance and John jumped right in and assisted with mulching some of the flower beds over several different days. His willingness to tackle any project or job is what makes him the perfect Employee of the Month. I am very impressed with his great team attitude. He gets along so well with everyone and is very patient with our senior center members. John drives many of the senior center trips and I have received many compliments on his driving and how friendly he is with members. He also teaches a weekly computer help class, that well attended. John, like all of our staff, feel a calling to working with seniors. I would like to recommend John Saylor for Employee of the Month.

Submitted by:  Mary Regen, Senior Center Director

 

Thank you, John Saylor! You are appreciated!

April Employee of The Month – Nora Davis

I would like to recommend Nora Davis, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator, for the employee of the month.  There are a number of reasons I believe Nora is deserving of being our employee of the month.  The first reason I would like to highlight is her social media work regarding our St. Paddy’s Celebration that took place on Saturday, March 19th.  We have over 1 million people reached solely from posts regarding this event.  This outstanding data shows Nora knew which aspects of the event to capitalize on through her posts, she was strategic on when to post as well as her intentional copy and photo choices.  Many may not realize the amount of time, attention to detail, and analytical skills it takes to have a piece of marketing that reaches this level of success.  Nora also came to me with a last-minute creative video idea to push the event.  In a matter of hours, she filmed, edited, created copy and posted three videos for the event.  But Nora’ efforts did not stop here.  Nora attended the event capturing content for next year’s promotions.  However, when the sound equipment van broke down, Nora drove her personal care and made numerous trips carrying equipment downtown.  We were able to get everything setup and did not have to delay any portion of the event thanks to her help, along with other staff.  As you can see, Nora is always willing to jump in and assist with any task that is thrown her way.  She also displayed this during our Halloween and Christmas events when we were short staffed.  She is an asset to the Town of Jonesborough and is more than deserving of this Employee of the Month Nomination.

 

Thank you, Nora Davis! You are appreciated!

March Employee of The Month – Amber Crumley

I would like to nominate the Town of Jonesborough Visitors Center & Facility Rentals Manager, Amber Crumley, for employee of the month. Amber has worked for the Town for 14 years and is truly a dedicated employee. Her drive to excel at whatever task is at hand is inspiring to everyone around her. She is always more than willing to jump in and this is what makes her an outstanding employee.

The Gift shop within the Visitors Center, The Old Town Emporium, has seen much success. We commonly receive positive visitor and resident comments as well as the record-breaking days we continue to see. The emphasis on nearly all items being locally made trickles down to staff as Amber has made that an important goal. She has empowered the host team in a number of ways, curating excitement for staff and a welcoming environment for visitors. 

During the fall and winter, the Town had an Events Coordinator vacancy. Amber helped to fill that gap by jumping in on a number of events, two in particular were the Jack-O-Lantern Drive-Thru and Halloween Haunts and Happenings. We had around 18 activities taking place for our Halloween celebration. That is due to Amber taking the lead on that event, keeping in mind she still had her regular job duties to complete. 

Each year the Town makes around $300,000 in ticket sales. Amber oversees every aspect of this process from coordination with the group hosting the event to conducting the financial close out report. She is the individual who inputs each and every ticket that is sold, she trains the hosts at the Visitor Center how to utilize the system, as well as troubleshooting. She also oversees rentals at the Visitor Center, Mill Spring Park, the McKinney Center, and the Chuckey Depot Museum. 

Amber is a highly talented employee and very valuable to the Town for numerous reasons. She always does her job to the best of her abilities and has a positive attitude. Through working alongside her, I have seen and experienced her strong work ethic, her joy to do her job well, and her willingness to help others. Amber is the type of employee any organization would hope for.

 

Thank you, Amber Crumley! You are appreciated!

February Employee of The Month – Ralph “Butch” Keffer

I would like to nominate Ralph “Butch” Keffer for the distinction of Employee of the Month for February 2022.  In simplest terms, Butch is always where you need him to be, when you need him to be there.  Butch is one of those folks, who pride themselves in being a helper in every situation.  This is a daily practice for Butch, but I would like to share one recent example.  During snow removal duties, Butch stands extra tall as he goes about his mission of snow removal.  He takes the role very seriously, as all our crew does.  But Butch assumes the added role of ‘set up’ man for now removal duties.  On the snow event at the beginning of this month.  I coordinated with Butch the timing the snow would likely begin to be an issue for motorists.  We planned to come in to work an hour before that time (to get equipment prepared), approximately 3:00 a.m.  Butch said “great, I’ll be there at 2:00 a.m. and get all the plow trucks started, warmed up and loaded with salt”.  So, that means he volunteered to come in an hour early, during the middle of the night, and have everything functional and warmed up and ready when the remainder of the crew gets here, still before the snow is having serious impact.  During our most recent snow event, on the Sunday before Martin Luther King’s birthday/holiday, Butch reported in during the morning, as we had a black ice event.  That crew worked about 4.5 hours to salt streets.  After that, they all went home to rest, as the larger snow event was forecast for just before midnight that night.  Butch reported back to work at 10:00 p.m. with that shift of men, myself included, and we plowed and salted until approximately 7:00 a.m., Monday, when the crew from the early Sunday morning event returned to take over and battle the snow event through the afternoon on Dr. King’s birthday/holiday.  Again, Butch was the first in on my shift (10:00 p.m.), had all the plow trucks warmed and loaded with salt and ready for duty.  Butch is a selfless, giving and generous man, and a pleasure to work alongside.  He volunteers for duty always, never complains and does a fantastic job.  In these short paragraphs, I can only scratch the surface of what a great crew of men I am honored to serve with.  Ralph “Butch” Keffer, being one of the best of the best.  For these reasons, I feel Ralph “Butch” Keffer deserves the honor and distinction of Employee of the Month for February 2022.  

 

Thank you, Butch Keffer! You are appreciated!

January Employee of The Month – Glen Woodfin

I would like to nominate Glen Woodfin for the distinction of Employee of the Month for January 2022.  Glen is our Assistant Street Director, as well as our job Foreman over field operations.  Shortly stated, Glen makes things happen.  Glen is the highly motivated central part of our Street Department team.  I could pen many stories to illustrate Glen’s dedication to keeping our town in tip-top shape, but today I’ll choose just one.

At our recent Christmas parade, we all found ourselves thinking back on how to conduct the night time parade, since we had no parade last year and the night version of the parade is a bit more difficult logistically than a ‘day time’ parade.  Major Rice and the JPD had also implemented a more robust traffic control plan, complete with heavy water filled barricades to safeguard the folks viewing the parade.  Since we had the new traffic control devices to deal with, Glen met with Major Rice and they coordinated the placement of the new water filled barricades, complete with a ‘fill and empty’ schedule on how to deploy and remove the barricades.  Their plan worked flawlessly.   Police and Fire Department Forces were also exemplary in the overall success of this year’s night parade.  Our Street crew was tasked not only with placing traffic control, including closing a lane of Jackson Boulevard in the rain, but we all were assigned posts to work during the parade.  JPD concentrated their officers nearer downtown Main Street this year, which left Street and other Forces with a larger role near the perimeters of the parade.  Glen, as usual, worked tirelessly behind the scenes guaranteeing all our Forces knew their role in traffic control placement, what post to ‘man’ during the parade, and how to quickly remove traffic control following the parade so traffic could be returned to the normal traffic pattern.  Street Forces played a big role in channelizing traffic, pedestrians and parade participants.  Glen is instrumental in making all the pieces fit into place.  Ahead of most of our events, Glen draws out a traffic control plan well in advance of the event, so we can make adjustments or fine tune the design as the date nears.  As I have made mention before, even if you do not see Glen during the event (or on our construction projects), chances are he was on the scene well before anyone else, facilitating the day’s work.  The type of dedication Glen exhibits is beginning to be extremely rare.  When you realize your daily task has the potential to positively impact the lives of others, the motivation to do a great job should be easy to find.  I feel Glen has this motivation on each project or event he participates in.  A team player and leader with a big heart for people.  For these reasons, I feel Glen Woodfin deserves the honor and distinction of Employee of the Month for January 2022.

 

Thank you, Glen Woodfin! You are appreciated!

December Employee of The Month – James Walden

I would like to nominate James Walden for the distinction of Employee of the Month for December 2021.  James is our lead Equipment Operator and brings a wealth of skills and experience to the Street Department’s ranks.  James exhibits a strong work ethic that could serve as an example for many of us.  James is dependable, honest, trustworthy, very knowledgeable of the construction trade, a Class – A CDL license holder, and James is a team player.  James brings a depth of skills to each and every project he is involved in, provides helpful solutions for issues/problems, and is a solid producer of quality results on each task he is asked to perform.  

  James is one half of our two-man asphalt paver operator crew.  Placing asphalt is certainly not just about two people, but the men who ride on the back of the paver adjusting depths and widths, are very important to the finished product.  Another of James’ key roles in equipment operation, is with the operation of the Town’s truck mounted crane.  James operates the crane in many different applications.  Recently James operated the crane to lift heating/air units to the roof of the Jackson/JRT theaters.  James takes the crane quarterly to the Water Treatment plant to lower a tractor into holding vats for clean out.  James also recently operated the crane while assisting the water department in setting a large concrete vault/lid in the alley way between the Jackson and the Main Street Café.  Setting the vault/lid on the busiest section of W. Main Street was a theatre of logistics, but everything went well.  The vault is now placed and secured, and contractors can continue their work.  James is a very capable and necessary equipment operator for the Town, not just for the Street Department. It is a comfort and pleasure to have James Walden working on your construction project, drainage project or special event.  I feel James Walden is very much worthy of EOM honors for December 2021. 

 

Thank you, James Walden! You are appreciated!