Educational Change Talk with Jerri Kemble and Mallory Jacobs, Centre USD #397 (Remarkable Chatter #7)

Jerri Kemble has  been an educator for 28 years.  She has been a classroom teacher, counselor, principal and superintendent and has taught students from kindergarten through graduate school.  In her 28 years as an educator Jerri has been recognized as the Kansas Counselor of the Year, The Alfred P. Wilson Outstanding Graduate Student at Kansas State University, the Education Administration Outstanding Graduate Student at Emporia State University, and most recently she was named the One of the Top 10 Tech-Savvy Superintendents in the United States by e-School News.

Jerri has been a pioneer in virtual education and has been asked to attend meetings at the White House on two occasions to discuss the potential of virtual education in rural Kansas.  Mrs. Kemble is passionate about character education, staff development and technology integration in schools.  In Kemble’s 6 year tenure at USD #397, Centre has become a 1:1 technology district in grades K-8, been named the Kansas Green School of the Year, awarded a best practice in Character Education, established professional learning communities and created the Kansas Online Learning Program which serves 100 virtual students in Kansas.

Jerri is currently a doctoral student at Kansas State University.  In her spare time she enjoys decorating, Pinterest, and spending time with her two great kids and her husband.  When asked why she is so passionate about technology in schools, Kemble replies, “Because it makes my poorest students rich.”

Mallory Jacobs grew up in Holton, Kansas, born into a long line of Kansas State University Wildcats.  Her family bleeds purple.  She graduated from KSU in May with a Masters in Counseling and Student Development.  Mallory chose to work at Centre Schools because she fell in love with their passion for education.  Jerri and Mallory work hand in hand to be sure Centre in a fun, healthy, and happy school for students to attend. Mallory exclaimed, ” I am lucky to be a part of the Cougar family!”




Cody Heitschmidt is a digital communications consultant who helps clients with 21st century communications. He is a native of Hutchinson, Kansas. After a stint at Hutchinson Community College, Cody joined the Marines, was stationed in California, and was deployed all over Asia.  He married his high school sweetheart, Tamara, and she moved to California as well.

When their daughter was born, Cody and Tamara moved back to Kansas. They settled near Hutchinson at the rural community of Nickerson, population 1,187 people. Now, that’s rural.

“It was the greatest move I ever made,” Cody said. “I’m big on family. We came back to where all my new daughter’s family were located.”

Having grandparents around proved to be a blessing in many ways. “Now I have a 15-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, and I’ve never paid a babysitter,” he said.

Cody started a hunting and outfitting service while Tamara was learning web design. When they applied their ideas about web design to his outfitting business, the response was remarkable.  Their pioneering work on search engine optimization brought calls from all over. But after their son was born, Cody decided to sell the outfitting service and concentrate on his wife’s website business. She had founded an information technology company known as LogicMaze.

“Her business had grown to the point that it needed about one-and-a-half employees,” Cody said.  “She was the one and I was the half.” They built the business to seven employees and sold it in 2008.

Others were interested in Cody’s experience in information technology, so he became a digital communications consultant. “I do all the way from big corporations to very, very small businesses,” Cody said. He assists with what is referred to as 21st century marketing. In practice, this means helping individuals, schools, and businesses understand how to use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and more. With his help, Cody has seen clients build their business ten-fold with the assistance of social media.

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