The Kansas School Social Workers Association (KSSWA) presented Dr. John McKinney, director of family and student services, the 2020 Champion for Children award.
The Champion for Children award recognizes a non-school social worker who supports the school social work profession and demonstrates dedication in promoting social work services in schools.
Several Shawnee Mission School District staff members contacted KSSWA to offer their endorsement of McKinney receiving the honor.
Thomas Walsh, who will serve as a social worker at Brookwood and East Antioch, nominated McKinney for the award.
“He is supportive and sensitive to the needs of social workers as we work with students and families,” Walsh said.
Nicole Gawer, social worker at Pawnee Elementary School, also wrote a letter in support. She highlighted his work to assemble a task force of social workers and nurses to update suicide assessment paperwork and protocols into evidence-based formats.
“He has listened and thoughtfully made ideas of social workers into actions that benefit all students in the Shawnee Mission School District.” Gawer shared.
McKinney epitomizes the award, David Aramovich, SMSD homeless liaison wrote in a support letter.
“He demonstrates equanimity, competence, dedication, enthusiasm, and humor, all of which highlight his tremendous leadership qualities,” Aramovich said.
McKinney was awarded the distinction virtually.