Jamie Schell, formerly of Milbank, was honored as Watertown’s 2024 Outstanding Employee With a Disability by the Mayor’s Committee for People With Disabilities. Mayor Ried Holien and Assistant Chief Ryan Remmers presented the award to Jamie in a ceremony held during the Watertown City Council meeting on November 6.
Jamie, the daughter of David and Lisa Schell of Milbank, was born with cerebral palsy. In selecting her for recognition, the committee related how her story had unfolded, “She had just graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a degree in psychology, and she was living in Milbank. She had exhausted ideas for jobs in the area, so she took a leap of faith and went to Watertown to meet with Mike at Trav’s Outfitters. Jamie was hired as a part-time cashier and soon moved to Watertown with her two cats.”
For over a year now, she has been one of the first faces you have seen and the voice you have heard welcoming you to Trav’s. The mayor’s committee stated, “Jamie is fiercely independent and strives to continue to remain that way. There is so much light in her eyes as she loves her job and those she works with. She is willing to pick up shifts when needed as long as she has a way to get to work. There really are not enough words to let you all know how awesome Jamie is.”
Awards for Outstanding Employer of the Year, Outstanding Transition Service, Outstanding Citizen, and Distinguished Service were also bestowed at the council meeting. All five honorees are now eligible for the 2024 Governor’s Awards to be hosted by Governor Noem and the South Dakota Department of Human Services. The annual ceremony is traditionally held in October in the rotunda at the South Dakota State Capitol.
The 2024 Awards and Recipients:
*Outstanding Employee With a Disability– Jamie Schell
*Outstanding Employer– Prairie Lakes Wellness Center
*Outstanding Transition Services– Heidi Hochstatter, a vocational rehabilitation counselor for Watertown and the surrounding area
*Outstanding Citizen with a Disability– Lynley Halajian, a volunteer with several veterans organizations
*Distinguished Service– Sara Foust, the director of the Codington County Welfare