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Cotton Recognizes Arkansan of the Week: Jess Forster

September 22, 2016
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Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353 or Dylan Haney (501) 223-9081

Washington, D.C.- Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) this week recognized Jess Forster of Little Rock, Arkansas as "Arkansan of the Week," for her work as the K-8 Director at eStem Public Charter Schools in Little Rock.

You can find the full text of Senator Cotton's recognition on the Senate Floor below. A video of Senator Cotton's remarks can be viewed here.

I would like to recognize Jess Forster, of Little Rock, as this week's "Arkansan of the Week," for her work as the K-8 Director of eStem Public Charter Schools in Little Rock.

First, it's important to note that Jess received a record four nominations from different people in Arkansas to be the Arkansan of the Week-an early indication of the tremendous impact she has on the Little Rock community and the state of Arkansas.

Jess is in her second year as the Kindergarten through Eighth grade director at eStem where she's known for her tireless dedication to her job and her positive attitude. For example, last year Jess hand-wrote 1,000 personalized, encouraging notes to each student before state testing. The notes took weeks to finish, but Jess never abandoned the task. And to say her students were thrilled would be an understatement.

As one of her colleagues wrote, "since Jess has taken on the Director role, I have seen more positivity in the hallways not only with our teachers, but with our students as well. I feel that our school is one big family and community and Mrs. Forster is our "mom.""

Jess's positive attitude and dedication doesn't end with her students. Her fellow faculty and staff members also benefit immensely from their relationships with her. Each Friday, Jess recognizes eStem's teachers hard work by personally distributing notes and snacks that usually align with a theme that she has chosen. Her positive spirit is contagious for all those who know her.

As another one of Jess's colleagues said "at one of her first meetings with the faculty, she discussed values and the importance they have in our daily lives-whether they be at the workplace or at home. One of the values we all picked was family." A value that Jess definitely believes in, and it shows.

Under Jess's leadership, eStem restated its mission and vision statement to the motto "above and beyond: it's what WE do". Jess believes this phrase sets higher expectations for eStem and better reflects the school's positive, community atmosphere.

Of all the nice things said about Jess in her nominations, I felt this description was a fitting conclusion: "Jess has had a HUGE impact on the eStem community, which reaches across the entirety of central Arkansas. She is a dedicated educational leader, wife, and mother. I believe she should be recognized for such an outstanding performance."

I cannot think of a more deserving person to be acknowledged as "Arkansan of the Week."

I agree. And I am proud to recognize Jess Forster as this week's "Arkansan of the Week" for her outstanding work as the K-8 Director at eStem schools in Little Rock.

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The "Arkansan of the Week" initiative is designed to honor Arkansans who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to their communities, and to the state.

Senator Cotton will honor each "Arkansan of the Week" with a speech on the Senate Floor.

If you know someone who has made an impact on their local community or Arkansas as a whole, Senator Cotton would like to recognize them! To nominate someone for "Arkansan of the Week," send an email to nominations@cotton.senate.gov with the following: \


• Name of Nominee
• Detailed description of why they should be recognized as "Arkansan of the Week"
• Contact Info
• Photos if Available