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2018 Dynamic Dozen Employee of the Year: Lynn Coffey

College & Career Readiness Coordinator, Kickapoo High School

Posted online

Lynn Coffey says he leads by example. He doesn’t just talk the talk.

“Others are influenced by my strong academic record, my students’ success and by my passion for the job I do,” says the career readiness coordinator for Kickapoo High School. “My colleagues know that I am here to support them and to partner with them to make our school the best it can be.”

After a 26-year teaching career, Coffey co-created and now leads a career readiness program called Kickapoo University that is producing real results for students.

“The focus of this program is to prepare students beyond just their four years of high school,” Coffey says. “Program requirements include 95 percent attendance, a minimum 3.0 GPA, three job shadowing experiences, 150 hours of volunteerism, an internship and a capstone course completed during the senior year.”

While Kickapoo University has proven to be nearly a full-time commitment, it is just one of many roles Coffey fills at KHS. Among his other duties are peer professional development, responsibility for the student volunteerism program, adviser for the KHS chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, a student mentoring program for the teaching profession and his work continuing to develop interns.

“Through professional development we have changed the culture into one that is career and future focused. I have been instrumental in doing workshops with teachers on academics and doing a school-wide focus on career development,” Coffey says.

Consistent with that mission, Coffey has nurtured relationships with local businesses such as the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, BKD LLP, Paul Mueller Co. and CoxHealth, in developing the student intern program at KHS.

“I have been able to build partnerships that have shaped our connection to the community,” Coffey says.

As FBLA adviser, Coffey spends countless hours training students, critiquing speeches, and helping to create resumes and cover letters. In 2016, he was honored as the Missouri FBLA Adviser of the Year.

“My students know that I will do everything within my power to help them be the best they can be in their competitive events,” Coffey says. “Getting to watch my students be successful at the district, state and national levels far exceeds any monetary reward I could receive.”

Coffey continues to lead by example when it comes to volunteer work as well. Serving as the student body volunteerism coordinator, Coffey says that last year’s graduating class collectively logged over 35,000 hours over their four years at KHS. Coffey volunteers his own time serving on numerous committees, including the Ozarks Literacy Council, Mock Interview Day at Missouri State University, and judging at district and state student business competitions.

According to Scot Phillips, KHS’ assistant principal and athletic director, “Dr. Coffey is a kid magnet. He sets the bar high for his students and demands perfection and respect. Even with those high expectations, students flock to take his classes.”

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