Late Colton City Clerk Jacqueline Shook honored with Pat Hammers Spirit Award

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On April 19th, City Clerks Association of California (CCAC) President Anthony Mejia honored Jacqueline Shook with the Pat Hammers Spirit Award.

The award honors city clerks who exemplify an inspirational, giving and passionate spirit with a knack for mentorship.

Shook was employed by Colton in the early 2000s until being laid off in 2009 amidst the recession – then returning in 2018 as the deputy city clerk.

“I still marvel at her dedication to the city clerk profession. The last time I spoke to her, she told me she had finished with the agenda. I remember asking her why she was still working on the agenda and told her she should have been resting because she was sick – she just chuckled and told me it had to get done. What a hero, Jackie’s life has changed me as a person down to the deepest parts of my soul,” said Stephanie Vargas, Colton City Clerk.

Vargas, the city’s former administrative assistant, nominated Shook for the award and has since stepped into the city clerk role.

“In 2018, Jacqueline Shook was allowed to return to Colton to lead an entire city clerk’s office as the deputy city clerk. Her professionalism and unmatched work ethic, a wealth of knowledge, and experience made her the unrivaled choice,” said Mejia.

When Shook returned to work for Colton, she was shocked to learn that the once six-person department dwindled to a department of one, just herself.

“She realized the opportunity was a challenge, but she proved to herself and the world that she could excel as the deputy city clerk. Jackie sacrificed her time, labored tenaciously with such passion that her team was inspired and couldn’t help but become as passionate as her,” continued Mejia.

During the presentation, Mejia said that Shook was a champion for continuing education and often encouraged her staff to pursue their dreams.

“Her compassion and kindness, patience, and grace left a lasting impression on all of those that her life touched,” concluded Mejia.

Shook’s husband and children were in attendance to accept the award in front of city council and the community.

An emotional Mayor Frank Navarro said, “I miss her every day, especially when I walk into her office and miss her bright smile every morning. There was nothing I asked for that she wouldn’t lend a hand with. Thank you to her husband and family for letting us have her for the time we did.”

The presentation ended with a video montage of city staff remembering Shook, sharing how she inspired them and contributed to the city’s success.