The Road Back Home to JCSS
The Road Back Home to JCSS
DeGeorge Brings Military Experience, Welcoming Smile to JCSS Technology Department
Inside the Empower College and Career Center is the student-run Refuel Coffee Shop. Inside that coffee shop is a drink called ‘The Jeffery’.
The inspiration for the drink consists of two things: a frosty and Jeffery DeGeorge.
Empower teacher Joshua Lingerfelt and his students decided it was only right to name the frosty-like drink after DeGeorge, since it is his favorite thing to drink when he is working at the Empower campus.
"When we were starting early this school year, I and a couple of my students were working in the coffee shop and having some technical difficulties. Jeffrey happened to be in the cafeteria working on some computer issues," said Lingerfelt. "He stopped what he was working on and helped us. My students were so grateful they offered to make him a coffee drink for free. Horror of horrors, he said he did not drink coffee,"
"They discovered that he loves chocolate. We were able to create a coffee-free frappe that tastes really similar to a Wendy's Frosty. A new drink option was created as a thank-you because Jeffery DeGeorge was willing to allow an unexpected distraction in his day and help students."
When you see DeGeorge throughout the Jackson County School System, he typically has the biggest and brightest smile on his face. His co-workers say he is the type of person to light up an entire room when he enters. It is no wonder the students of Empower felt that it was right to name a drink after him.
“Once you meet Jeffery, you never forget him. He would be an asset to any technology team, and we’re lucky to call him our own here in Jackson County,” said Brett Irvin, Technology Director at JCSS.
DeGeorge is a Network Engineer for the Jackson County School System. He is no stranger to the Jackson County community. In his school years, he attended Benton Elementary, East Jackson Middle School and then Jackson County High School when it was located at what is now Empower.
After graduating in 2006 he enlisted in the military. He became a Network Infrastructure Technician for the U.S. Air Force and served for nine and a half years. During his service, he had three tours to Oman, Iraq, and Qatar. Each tour of duty lasted approximately five to six months long for DeGeorge.
Warner Robins, Georgia was the first place that DeGeorge and his wife were stationed. They lived there for a duration of four and a half years and began growing their family. They had two daughters before making their next move to Great Falls, Montana, where they lived for 14 months.
DeGeorge and his family were then stationed in San Antonio, Texas. They packed up and made the twenty-six hour drive to their new home where they were stationed for four years.
“When I worked in Warner Robins, it was a combat communication unit. So we deployed and we set up for 10,000 users across the whole area of the entire base,” said DeGeorge. “Then when I moved to Montana, I worked for a NOC, Network Operation Center, and I worked for the whole network across the world.
“We did all the stuff from Europe, Germany, Santa Antonio, Nevada, you name it. There's places everywhere that had networks that we monitored and set up. When I lived in San Antonio, we worked on network encryption devices.”
During his nine and a half years of service he was awarded Three Achievement Medals; Two Commendation Medals; and One Joint-Commendation Medal.
An Achievement medal is awarded when a service member makes an outstanding achievement. Commendation medals are for heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service. Joint-Commendation medals are awarded to any member of the Armed Forces that contribute to their unit and nation.
Serving for the U.S Air Force allowed DeGeorge to interact with new people and see new places. DeGeorge is a person who values interaction and connecting with others. That’s what he also enjoys about JCSS.
“After I got out of the military, my wife and I decided it was time to move back home. I applied for the position here at Jackson County and I was accepted. We had family that still lived here and we wanted to be closer to them, so it all worked out,” said DeGeorge.
Nearly six years ago, DeGeorge accepted the position at JCSS. He has also taught a computer class to students. Students were taught about components and technology.
Connecting with students and employees daily brings him joy.
“The best part of working within the school system is that I get to work with everybody. I'm a friendly person, if anyone knows me, they know that,” said DeGeorge.
There is never a day that he does not have a smile on his face. DeGeorge’s three daughters, Halie, Ava, and MaKinley, make life more interesting for him. Being a girl dad is his proudest accomplishment thus far.
A typical day for the Network Engineer begins around six-thirty in the morning. He makes sure the network is running smoothly for the entire school system before class begins each morning. Maintaining the network for K-12 education is one of the most important factors to keep each school running smoothly.
DeGeorge is extremely involved within the school system. He is part of the Empowering Leaders Program, an internal program focused on developing leadership skills. He has managed the technology for the program for the past two years. In May, DeGeorge was recognized at a Board of Education work session by the Empower Leaders for his dedication to the program and the school system.
If you ask DeGeorge, the attention isn’t wanted. But with the reputation that he holds, as being a friendly, smiling and helpful face throughout the school system is hard to ignore.