Education Support Professionals – Vital to Our Schools

The Okaloosa County School District’s Educational Support Professional Employees of the Year for 2013 were recently honored at the 11th Annual Awards Banquet at the Niceville Community Center.

Education Support Professionals work side-by-side with teachers and administrators to help students achieve their best every day. According to the National Education Association, “a major source of support professionals' work satisfaction is the personal fulfillment they get from working with students and serving their communities.”

Maria Foote, Destin Elementary, was recognized as the Okaloosa County School District Educational Support Professional of the Year. First Runner-Up was Linda Kulaw, Longwood Elementary School, and Second Runner-Up was Chin Taylor, CHOICE High School and Technical Center.

All of the Educational Support Professional Employees of the Year received a beautiful plaque, the day off, and individual recognition during the breakfast.

Congratulations to all of the School Educational Support Professional of the Year Award winners:

Antioch ES – Teresa Williamson
Baker School – Renee Bowness
Bay Area Office – Elsie Rivera
Bluewater ES – Hope Vail
Bob Sikes ES – Katherine Fay Owen
Bruner MS – Dorothy Kent
Carver Hill Administration Complex – Michael Joshua Delpozo
Choctawhatchee HS – Ellen Deckert
CHOICE High School and Technical Center - Chin Taylor
Crestview HS – Daniel Davis
Davidson MS – Paula Sutton
Dept of Juvenile Justice Schools – Betty Highlander
Destin ES – Maria Foote
Destin MS – Dwana Neyendorf
Edge ES – Kelly Edelman
Edwins Fine and Performing Arts School – Carl Payne
Eglin ES – Jessica Chandler
Elliott Point ES – Dianne Windham
Florosa ES – Tanya Garcia
Fort Walton Beach HS – Mary Malone
Mary Barraca – Kenwood ES
Laurel Hill School – Glenda Courtney
Lewis School – Diane Devine
Longwood ES – Linda Kulaw
Maintenance Support Services – Shelley Wright
Maintenance FWB South – Wendell Glover
Maintenance Support & Grounds – Michael Nichols
Mary Esther ES – Mary Wooley
Meigs MS – Mau Moc Tran
Niceville HS – Annie Johnson
Northwood ES – Cheri Hinson
Okaloosa STEMM Academy – Suzzanne Barber
Plew ES – Bobbie Nedoroscik
Pryor MS – Cheryl Thompson
Richbourg School – Lucy Reynolds
Riverside ES – Suzette Shoda
Ruckel MS – Brenda Runge
Shalimar ES – Robin Hiatt
Shoal River MS – Mary Westbrook
Silver Sands School – Carolyn Madison
Southside Center – Karen Cadenhead
Transportation Center – Chester Lee Youngblood
Transportation North – Mary Stephens
Transportation South – Donna Poole
Walker ES – Lisa Taylor
Wright ES – Joan Graddy

Special appreciation also went to the following for planning and organizing this year’s awards program:

Educational Support Professional of the Year Committee Members:
Andrea Waters, CHOICE HS and Technical Center; Melissa Thrush, School Board Member, District 5; Valarie Moreland, Retired ESE Classroom Assistant; Patrick Strong, OCESPA, President; Stacie Smith, Human Resources Specialist and Educational Support Professional of the Year 2012.

Catering Services:
Bonney Hanson, Bonney’s Personal Chef Service, Niceville, Florida

Program and Printing Services:
Perry Rich and Staff, School District Printing Services.

Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation; Jimmie Beavers, Beavers, Inc.; and Bangkok Cleaners.

The Trophy Center, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Banquet Assistants:
Cheryle Foraker, Personnel, Confidential Secretary, and Linda Rusnak, Personnel, Support Employee Analyst.

To view the original story announcing this year’s winner and top two finalists, click here.

To view a picture gallery of the Awards Breakfast, click here.