Educator strives to make difference


Zoe Hinch

Jeanna Childress has worked at LCM High School for the past 12 years.

Emily Day, Writer

Jeanna Childress is the school’s Student Service Coordinator and has been for about 12 years. Many people are unaware of her job and what it entails, but that does not stop her from helping students every day.

 “As Student Services Coordinator, I try to ensure that we are identifying and serving students identified as At-Risk, homeless, Limited English Proficient and those who meet Section 504 eligibility,” Childress said. “Additionally, I am the campus testing coordinator for our STAAR assessments.” 

Planning for STAAR administrations and coordinating Section 504 services are the two responsibilities that take up the bulk of her time.

“It takes me about three weeks to plan and prepare for each campus wide STAAR administration, and about a week to plan for each retest administration because there are so many details involved,” Childress said. “I don’t feel very stressed on STAAR days because there is so much planning on the front end and because I work with an incredible group of professionals who carry out the plan!”

According to Childress, STAAR testing is much more than students bubbling in answers. It involves Childress communicating with the administrators, teachers, counselors and parents of students served under Section 504. There are currently over 100 students served under Section 504.

“If a student has a mental or physical impairment that hinders a major life activity, the student may be eligible for accommodations under Section 504,” Childress said. “My job is to help identify those students, complete their annual reviews and periodic evaluations (lots of meetings!), distribute their accommodation plans to teachers, and to make sure their accommodations are being followed.”

Childress said she enjoys being on the same campus with her sons, Eli and Lucas Ridout, even though she does not see them very often during the school day.

“This is my place of employment, so I’ve always emphasized that with them,” she said. “But I do love it when they drop by for an occasional hug! I’m very proud of my boys.” 

Before working at LCM, she was employed as the district’s State and Federal programs Coordinator for three years. Childress once served as academic adviser for Lamar State College-Orange and Stephen F. Austin State University. Before that, she was a junior high classroom teacher for seven years in Leander ISD and Lamar ISD. 

“I never felt a strong pull to any particular career field. I wasn’t one of those people who always said, “I’m going to be a _______ when I grow up,” Childress said. “I think my desire has always been just to help people. I like working with students and enjoy the relationships I build with them. I think they know I’m on their side and want the best for them.”