PYSK – Lisa Dey, JCHS Truancy Officer
Story by Jefferson City Magazine Staff | Apr 26, 2018
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer
Your current job title and number of years and months in that position:
Truancy officer. This will be my first year full-time; last year was half-time at the beginning of the day.
Please list your education:
Bachelor’s in K-12 physical education from UMSL; MBA from Williams Woods University.
Favorite charitable organization and why:
The HALO Foundation: they’re grassroots and help the type of students I’m fortunate enough to work with each day.
What is the role of a truancy officer?
To get truant kids to school, but it’s much more than that. If kids miss the bus, I’ll transport them. I also make a lot of phone calls and home visits, and I meet with counselors and truancy court.
What are some of your immediate and long-term goals as truancy officer for JCPS?
My immediate goals are to make parents or guardians aware that I’m available to help. My long-term goal is that attendance would increase throughout the district.
How do you hope to impact the community with your role?
I’ve seen a lot in this position. I’ve learned a lot as well. When I went to school, it wasn’t an option — you just went. Now kids are not attending like they should. If we teach them at a young age the importance of education, I feel it will make a difference in their attendance.
What led you to pursue this role?
Dr. Tammy Ridgeway, a longtime administrator and educator, asked me if I would be interested in the position. At first, it was only a part-time role, but with the demand, it became full-time.
Why are you passionate about your position?
There are so many good kids in our district, and many are the product of their environment. I want to help. I look at it as a challenge, and if you know my personality, I thrive over a challenge.
Favorite place to spend an afternoon:
Outside, being in the garden and mingling among the chickens.
Favorite TV show:
A cooking show or a sports event.
Favorite comfort food:
Something sweet — probably chocolate!
I would love to have a completely self-sufficient homestead.
Chickens, gardening, and canning.