Missouri’s first lady Teresa Parson, wife of Gov. Mike Parson, is now scheduled to speak at the St. Clair R-XIII School District back-to-school workshop Monday, Aug. 12.

Superintendent Dr. Kyle Kruse said that the governor will not be able to attend the workshop due to the funeral of a state representative. The first lady will address faculty, staff, administrators and school board members at 8:30 a.m.

“We send our condolences on the loss of one of our state representatives and we understand the governor’s commitment there,” Kruse said. “We are very pleased to welcome the first lady of Missouri to St. Clair.”

Teresa Parson may speak about the governor’s recent announcement of putting a plan together to raise the ranking of teacher salaries and compensation from being 47th and 48th in the nation to a ranking of 30 or higher within the next three years, according to Kruse.

She also may speak about a statewide program called Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), which is “dedicated to preventing dropouts among young people who have serious barriers to graduation and/or employment,” according to jag.org. At a May meeting, the school board adopted the program for juniors and seniors that will start this school year. The program will serve 30 to 35 juniors and seniors who are at risk.

About First Lady

Teresa Parson has the experience of being a mother, grandmother, businesswoman, volunteer and advocate. After working 40 years in the banking industry, Parson retired to continue serving her community.

She has served on the boards of the 30th Circuit Juvenile Detention Center, A+ Program, Industrial Development Authority, Bolivar Educational Advancement Foundation, Bolivar Chamber of Commerce, and has volunteered for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

Teresa Parson has a strong commitment to education. She and the governor work with at-risk high school students as co-chairs of the Board of Directors for Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). Together they highlight the importance of education to the next generation of leaders, as well as financial literacy and money management.

She also is a dedicated advocate for special needs children, making Missourians more aware of the role these children can play in society when given the opportunities.

About JAG

The JAG program will accommodate students’ specific needs for those in certain circumstances including poverty, those who have low attendance records, low grades, challenging personal situations and other criteria.

An instructor will teach classes focused on workforce development, such as employee and employer expectations, how to prepare for an interview, how to fill out job applications and other related topics.

Through JAG, funding would provide half of the teacher’s salary up to $30,000. In addition to structured classes, the teacher will help students obtain work experience by partnering with local businesses and organizations.

For part of a school day, students will have the chance to either attend internships, Four Rivers Vocational School or work at a part-time job after school.

During the first year after graduation, the teacher will conduct a follow-up with students and with their employers. This is a way for the teacher to address any issues that could arise such as understanding employer expectations, attendance issues and/or having the skill set for that particular position.