Difference Makers: Merideth Pobst finds purpose in serving others

Meredith Pobst
Photo by Aaron Eisenhauer

Editor's Note: The B Magazine Difference Makers series is sponsored by Executive Property Management and your local Edward Jones Financial Advisors. Read more stories at www.semissourian.com/DifferenceMakers.

Merideth Pobst has made a career of living out of the spotlight.

As communications director for the Jackson R-2 School District, she spends her days shining light on what other people within the district are doing. As a leader on numerous community boards, including Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce, she makes sure other people’s needs are met.

If she hears a need, she said, she’ll try to figure out the best way to solve that problem.

“I kind of see myself as a problem solver and support staff,” Pobst said.

While running Jackson R-2 School District’s communications, Pobst also serves as director of Jackson Foundation, an independent not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide Jackson R-2 schools with extra resources and educational opportunities.

Among other initiatives, the foundation hosts fundraisers to provide teaching and learning grants to teachers.

“Teachers have such great vision,” Pobst said. “A lot of times, what they want to do may be beyond what’s regularly budgeted for the district. They can submit proposals for really creative things they can do to enhance educational experiences for students, and the foundation will find a way to pay for it.”

With John Link, former superintendent of Jackson R-2 School District, Pobst helped implement Heroes 4 Hope, a program for struggling students and families within the Jackson R-2 School District.

Through Heroes 4 Hope, students may receive pairs of shoes, winter coats or eyeglasses if they need them. During last year’s COVID-19 lockdown, Pobst said the district used the program to deliver meals to students’ houses. She also coordinates with mobile food pantries to come to Jackson R-2 Schools.

Pobst’s outreach extends much further than the Jackson R-2 School District, however.

She and her husband, Justin Pobst, host a Christian radio show on KHIS Radio every morning. On the show, the couple talks about faith, life or whatever topic is prominent that day.

In everything she does, Pobst said her faith serves as her motivation.

“It is the compass for every decision I make,” Pobst said. “I have an opportunity to wake up and make a difference in someone else’s life. Hopefully, even by helping one person, that will set them into a place to maybe be better so they can help someone else. I don’t believe we get anywhere on our own.”

Pastor Gary Brothers, senior pastor of Cape First Church, teaches a principle that Pobst said she uses as her personal mantra — “I can’t do everything, but I can do all that I can.”

“That’s something I try to live by,” Pobst said. “To help others, no matter where I work, no matter where I go to church, serve or live... You choose the level at which you’re willing to be involved and, for me, it’s important to give back. I hope people see that in no matter what I do, because I really feel like my life is bigger than just who I am.”