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story.lead_photo.caption The lights were dimmed and the music loud as the Jefferson City School District hosted its open session Friday to get the staff motivated and excited for the start of the new school year. During the event at The Linc, the Jefferson City High School Drum Line, cheerleaders from both high schools and Capital City Dance Team performed. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Jefferson City's public school district is publicly going by a different name — Jefferson City School District.

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Jefferson City School District is not really a new name — it's the legal name for the district that is already on government documents, Superintendent Larry Linthacum said Friday.

"Jefferson City School District" replaces "Jefferson City Public Schools," and "JC Schools" is the moniker to be used instead of "JCPS."

The name "Jefferson City School District" also dates back to "when the district was established in a two-room schoolhouse on Miller Street in 1838," according to a news release from JC Schools Director of Communications Ryan Burns.

"We are at the beginning of our next chapter as we embark on a new school year with a second high school for the first time in our district's history," Linthacum said in the news release.

"With our new name, we are returning back to a legacy 181 years in the making, and I am excited to embrace our history at this crucial time," he said.

Karen Enloe, the Jefferson City Public Schools Foundation's executive director, told the News Tribune the foundation would discuss whether to change its name, probably in September or October.

"It's possible that we might change our logo, but it won't be drastic," Enloe said.

The district's name change was revealed Friday morning at JC Schools' opening session for staff — an annual motivational rally to energize staff for the school year ahead, which starts Tuesday.

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A name change is not the only aspect of a different look that families and staff will notice in the coming days.

"Over the summer, the district has transitioned to a number of new communication tools, including a new mass notification system and mobile app. Next week, the current website,, will be transitioned to a new template designed to be more user-friendly for parents and to feature high-priority content rotated throughout the year. The website will also highlight the district's new branding video and district logo," according to the news release.

"As we prepare to open Capital City High School next week, we felt it was important to create a district brand that reflects both of our high schools moving forward," Burns said in the news release.

"Our Communications Department is proud to have a new brand to celebrate our JC Schools family the teachers, staff members, students, parents, and community members who form the backbone of our district," she added.

JC Schools' opening session was held this year at The Linc, because of the renovation work across the street at Jefferson City High School.

Linthacum also said at opening session that he intends to have "Rounding with Larry" events, similar to the "Coffee with Larry" events held at 7 a.m. on the first Friday of each month at the Miller Performing Arts Center.

Linthacum said the rounding events would be an optional staff meeting every week at a different school building, where he would ask what's getting better — why or why not — what he could do to help and who needs to be recognized as a difference-maker.

At opening session, Enloe announced the 2019-20 Railton New Professionals of the Year award winners:

Whitney Boeckman, Moreau Heights Elementary School.

Joane Cash, Cedar Hill Elementary School.

Lauren Coons, Thorpe Gordon Elementary School.

Matt Graham, Capital City High School.

Claire Hansen, Pioneer Trail Elementary School.

Savannah Hoff, Lewis and Clark Middle School.

Tricia Morgan, North Elementary School.

Katelyn Rush, East Elementary School.

Adrianna Sanders, Jefferson City High School.

Danielle Vaught, Thorpe Gordon Elementary School.

Jimmy Casas was the keynote speaker for opening session. A former principal who has received recognition nationally and in Iowa, where he led Bettendorf High School for 14 years, Casas sought to inspire JC Schools' staff to live with excellence every day and in every part of their lives.

"I'm actually here to inspire every one of you to be great," he said — advocating that being great at school as an educator but not at home as a spouse or parent, or vice versa, is a disservice for the people in those places, as well as for educators themselves.

When people forget why they're doing what they're doing, they get tired and exhausted, and "we fall into the average," Casas said.

He urged staff to improve their school cultures by building honest and caring relationships with one another and investing time into them.

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