September 2006, State Employee of the Month Sarah Blankenship, Department of Social Services
Sarah Blankenship is employed as a Children’s Service Worker II in Oregon County with the Department of Social Services. Sarah recently displayed her dedication and commitment to the clients she serves by providing services above and beyond her normal job duties.
One of Sarah’s clients, a 16 year old boy in the custody of Greene County, was placed in foster care in Oregon County. A few months ago both foster parents for this child passed away. Responsibility for this child could easily been passed back to Green County; instead Sarah immediately began working to ensure that this young man was able to remain in the same town and school district where he had established roots and friendships. Sarah spent more time with this child than the two required monthly visits to find a placement for him in the community where he was established.
Sarah Blankenship accepts the September State Employee of the Month Award from Governor Matt Blunt.
Sarah’s dedication to this young man far exceeded what is expected in her day- to-day duties. The Department of Social Services and the citizens of Missouri are well served by Sarah Blankenship.
October 2006, State Employee of the Month James “Butch” Amann, Department of Public Safety
James “Butch” Amann, a Fire Investigator with the Department of Public Safety, Fire Safety, serves the citizens of Southeast Missouri by working with juvenile burn survivors and children with fire setting behaviors. In addition to his assigned job duties; for the past 10 years Investigator Amann has volunteered his personal time as a camp counselor at the Missouri Children’s Burn Camp, sponsored by Burns Recovered Support Group. Each summer Butch spends a week at the Lake of the Ozarks camp helping children cope with self esteem and self confidence issues sustained as a result of physical scaring due to burn injuries.
Butch’s commitment and dedication to these children does not go unnoticed. The parents of a young man who attended the camp wrote to him to express thanks and appreciation for inspiring their son. Their son had no ambition, didn’t care if he graduated and was only concerned about “keeping a job”. The parents informed Investigator Amann that, as a result of the time their son spent under his mentoring, he made a 360 degree turn in his attitude when returning to school his senior year; resulting in his making the honor roll every quarter, fantastic attendance and participation in school activities while working a part- time job, and a major change in this attitude and approach towards life. This young man has since moved on to attend a technical college, is enrolled in a computer programming course, and is continuing to be successful and participative in life.
Additionally, when the Division of Fire Safety began efforts to establish a state Youth Fire Safety Coalition program Butch stepped up to assist and, due to his initiative, the Division has been able to provide coalitions with the foundation needed to serve youth statewide. Butch’s proactive approach of working with juveniles whom have exhibited fire setting behavior as well as providing counseling assistance to children who have sustained permanent scarring from burn injuries, epitomize the values of public safety and service to others.