JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin Schools has announced Eric Powell as the 2022-23 Support Staff of the Year award winner.

Powell was awarded at a surprise assembly today at JEC. He was nominated by Joplin Early Childhood (JEC) staff and administrators. They pointed out he is willing to help any teacher, student, or parent, no matter the job.

“Our children think the world of Mr. Eric,” said JEC Director Mindy St. Clair. “They love the opportunity to give him a high-five or wave at him. When Mr. Eric walks through the doors of the cafeteria, he is treated like a celebrity, and he often appears as a father figure to some of our students who don’t have access to that positive male role model in their lives. We’re so thankful for his influence on our little ones.”

Powell has served Joplin Schools for 17 years and has been the building engineer at JEC for six years, supporting students and teachers in the daily activities of learning.

“Eric Powell is a genuinely kind person who cares about the students and staff at Joplin Early
Childhood Center,” said Joplin Schools Superintendent Dr. Kerry Sachetta. “Everyone at JEC depends on him every day. He does an excellent job performing his duties, keeping the school clean and in order, but he goes above that by being very professional and welcoming to everyone who comes in contact with JEC.”

Powell will also be awarded and recognized by the Joplin Schools Foundation at an upcoming Joplin Schools Board of Education meeting.