Eleven Wake County Public School System employees were recognized by the Board of Education with the Employee Excellence Awards at the board’s Oct. 19 meeting.
The October 2010 Employee Excellence Awards were presented to Susan Coats, Middle Creek High School Special Education Teacher; WCPSS Transportation Department Bus Driver Brenda Gail Denton; WCPSS Transportation Department Bus Driver Sylvia Fleming; Mills Park Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Charlene Hassler; WCPSS General Services Department Facilities Maintenance Technician Mark Heinlein; WCPSS Transportation Department Operations Manager Martin Horton; WCPSS General Services Department Area Facilities Manager John Jackson; WCPSS General Services Department Area Facilities Manager Robert Kendrick; WCPSS Public Information Department Graphic Designer Joni Mitchell; WCPSS Evaluation and Research Department Testing Technician Barbara Williams; and WCPSS Intervention & Prevention Department Extended Learning/Outreach Services Director Judy Williams.
The Employee Excellence Awards were created to recognize Wake County school employees for their hard work, and providing one of the country’s top-performing school districts. Employees are nominated for the honor and selected by a committee.
Dr. Donna Hargens presented the employees to the board. Hargens awarded the employees a plaque as Assistant Superintendent Stephen Gainey described the employee’s achievements.
Following is a brief description of the October Employee Excellence Award winners:
Susan Coats works with some of the most challenging students at Middle Creek High School. She has been a mentor and role model for teachers at the school who have had difficulty in classroom management. In addition, she is an active participant in one of Middle Creek High School’s science classes, helping to ensure students earn their credits and master classroom content.
Brenda Gail Denton is a dedicated employee who has an admirable gift at managing behavior on her school bus and ensuring that all students are safely transported. The parents of Forest Pines Drive Elementary love and appreciate her, and she has even been included in joint conferences with parents, teachers, and administrators to work out accommodations for a special needs student.
Sylvia Fleming is a very active bus driver and manages students very well by demonstrating the balance between being a fair and consistent disciplinarian while still being the nurturing mother figure. She is a good listener and is able to distribute her attention equally among the students. Fleming has worked successfully with many special needs students in her role as a bus driver.
Charlene Hassler is an amazing kindergarten teacher who goes above and beyond every day in the classroom. Her positive energy is so contagious and infectious that every child in her classroom thrives in this environment. The Wake County Public School System is fortunate to have such a caring educator.
Mark Heinlein is a sharp-eyed troubleshooter, often fixing things before a teacher has the time to fill out a work order. His enthusiasm, sense of responsibility, and technical expertise are a real bonus for Rolesville Elementary School. Heinlein is one of the bright shining stars of the Wake County Public School System, and his professionalism and easy-going manner is truly appreciated.
Martin Horton is an outstanding example of what a leader and team player should be. He knows the physical area his buses serve and interacts well with his parents, drivers, students, and school staff members. Horton is the consummate problem-solver whether he has to deny a request, offer an alternative, or work with drivers and team leaders to make sure bus routes are as efficient and effective as they should be. He is pleasant, positive, and a good communicator.
John Jackson has assembled a dynamic team that has made a positive difference at Brooks Elementary. He, or members of his team, are often in the school building taking notes on needed repairs or potential issues. Jackson and his team have developed a strong, positive rapport with the staff of Brooks Elementary and don’t hesitate to respond to the school’s maintenance needs.
Robert Kendrick took charge and assisted repair crews at every turn when Wakefield Middle School experienced a major mechanical failure which caused the building to flood in November 2009. With the work completed, the staff and students of Wakefield Middle School were able to return to their classrooms days earlier than first estimated.
To say that Joni Mitchell’s designs and skillful layouts are attractive does not tell the whole story. Regardless of the school or department utilizing her skills, Mitchell recognizes she is a part of the team. Thanks to her creativity and good-humored patience, WCPSS brochures, flyers, booklets and other print products are professional, user-friendly, and a source of pride for the school system.
Barbara Williams is a high-performing employee who consistently provides outstanding customer service to our school test coordinators, our schools, and all of our stakeholders. Whether answering questions via e-mail or phone, collecting test data, disseminating test materials, or matching numerous test scores for students, her reputation for excellence and providing a calm demeanor, especially during stressful testing sessions, is well-known across the school system.
Judy Williams has worked steadfastly to develop a new program called Second Chance Online Resource for Education (SCORE), providing academic courses for suspended students to continue their education in a media-rich, online learning environment. Williams’ vision, leadership, and determined work ethic have been instrumental in making this initiative a reality and providing another alternative to ensure that all students have access to quality instruction and another opportunity to graduate on time.
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