The district’s January Veteran of the Month was recognized and saluted at the recent Hernando County School Board meeting. This is a distinguished member of the county’s educational community and someone who makes a difference in the daily lives of teachers and students. The January Veteran of the Month is Jolene Amato.
The school district has committed to honoring individuals who significantly contribute to military service and education.
Jolene Amato’s service career began shortly after she graduated from Ft. Walton Beach High School in 1985 when she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Her first assignment was as a medical material specialist at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. Five years later, her dedication and skills led her to transfer to the 325th Medical Group at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida.
A crucial moment in Amato’s military career was her deployment to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 1990 as a part of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During her eight months there, she was pivotal in providing medical support and treatment to wounded personnel and soldiers. Her commitment was recognized through many awards, including two Air Force Achievement Medals, a Southwest Asia Campaign Medal and an Air Force Longevity Service Award.
Transitioning from active duty in July 1992, Amato served as an active reservist until 1996, holding the rank of E5 Staff Sergeant. Post-military, she worked in the healthcare industry before joining the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs in 2001, working in their IT department.
Amato’s start with Hernando County Schools began in 2012 as a district technology support specialist and she has excelled in this role ever since.
According to Chocachatti Principal Lara Silva and Challenger K8 Principal Rosemarie A. Maiorini, she has had a significant impact on the county’s schools. Both women highlighted her unwavering dedication, problem-solving skills, and compassionate nature. In response to the recognition, Jolene Amato expressed her gratitude and reflected on the honor of serving her country and now the Hernando County educational community. Her journey from a dedicated military service member to a pivotal figure in local education exemplifies commitment, skill, and a heart for service.
This recognition by the Hernando County School Board not only honors Jolene Amato’s remarkable contributions but also serves as a reminder of veterans’ valuable impact on our educational systems and communities.