Education Support Professionals Honored For Service and Dedication

The Okaloosa County School District’s Educational Support Professional Employees of the Year for 2014 were recently honored at the 12th 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.

Lorin Lewis – Pryor Middle School – Education Support Professional of the Year

Lorin, who serves as Pryor Middle School’s Bookkeeper, earned her Associates degree from Northwest Florida State College in 2008 and is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree. 

“It has been my privilege to work with Lorin for two years now and she has exceeded every expectation,” said Jeff Palmer, Pryor Middle School Principal.  “Lorin goes above and beyond in everything she does.  She has cross trained herself to handle every office if needed.  Lorin is the best Pryor has and I believe she is the best that Okaloosa County has.”

“Being a part of the Pryor family is a great joy and to be recognized by your peers is an amazing feeling,” said Lewis.  “It was an honor to be considered for this award, but being named Support Professional of the Year is just breathtaking.  I am so grateful and blessed to be a member of the Okaloosa County School District!”

Rhonda Nelson – Silver Sands School – First Runner-Up

Rhonda, who has been at Silver Sands School for three and a half years, oversees the function and concept of food services at the school and serves as the Treasurer of the Okaloosa School Nutrition Association, a volunteer group that works and plans new ways to improve Food Services and community relations.

“Her commitment to the students in giving them experiences is deeply appreciated by everyone at the school,” said Silver Sands Principal, Alan Lambert.  “She exemplifies what it means to truly ‘make a difference’ in the life of a child.”

Bernice Harrington – Southside Center – Second Runner-Up

Bernice, who serves as an ESE Classroom Assistant at Southside Center, assists the teachers in instructional, behavioral, medical, academic, and with any other needs of the students. 

“It is very rare that you will find an individual more dedicated or compassionate than Bernice Harrington,” said Debra Haan, Southside Center Administrator.  “She is an outstanding person, inside and out, and I am proud to say she works at Southside Center.”

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

Antioch ES – Brenda Cadenhead

Baker School – Michelle Rock

Bay Area Office – Patricia Willis

Bluewater ES – Deanna Regans

Bob Sikes ES – Jane Smith

Bruner MS – Anne Larson

Carver Hill Administrative Complex – Steve Woods

Choctawhatchee HS – Cynthia Buckley

CHOICE HS & Technical School – Tami Kachline

Crestview HS – Leslie Alford

Davidson MS – Debbie Winters

Department of Juvenile Justice Schools – Paula Barrow

Destin ES – Bob Armor

Destin MS – Karen Ewing (Not Pictured)

Edge ES – Cynthia Dooley

Edwins ES – Mary Ellis-Evans (Not Pictured)

Eglin ES - Terri MacLaird

Elliott Point ES – Maryvonne Morse

Florosa ES – Dia Cyrus (Not Pictured)

Fort Walton Beach HS – Theron Jones

Kenwood ES – Leslie Prince

Laurel Hill School – JoAnn Jackson

Lewis School – Lisa Lee

Longwood ES – Sondra Collins

Maintenance South – Carl Blocker (Not Pictured)

Maintenance Support & Grounds – Michael Nichols

Mary Esther ES – Noralynn Taylor

Meigs MS – Bonnie London

Niceville HS – Sonya Holland

Northwood ES – Karen Bradley

Nutrition Center – Joan Crumbie (Not Pictured)

Okaloosa STEMM Academy – Belinda Sadler

Plew ES – Lynne Roll

Richbourg School – Heather Carmical

Riverside ES – Terry Vance

Ruckel MS – Janet Simpson

Shalimar ES – Vicki Ridgway

Shoal River MS – Jeanan Bradshaw (Not Pictured)

Transportation Central – Betty Jo Courtney

Transportation North – Todd Brady (Not Pictured)

Transportation South – Jonathan Baggett

Walker ES – Janet Brown

Wright ES – Gail King

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

Special appreciation goes to the Educational Support Professional of the Year Committee Members for planning and organizing this year’s awards program:  Andrea Waters, CHOICE HS & Technical Center, Secretary, Chair of Selection Committee; Maria Foote, Destin ES, ESL Interpreter, 2013 Educational Support Professional of the Year; Melissa Thrush, School Board Member, District 5; Patrick Strong, OCESPA, President; Debi Brooks, CHOICE HS & Technical Center, Assistant Vo Tech; Val Moreland, Classroom Assistant, Retired; and Linda Pigford, School Bus Drive, Retired.

Special thanks and appreciation also go to the following for their contributions to this year’s event:  Bay Area Awards, Corner Café, Edible Arrangements, Niceville Community Center, Okaloosa County Educational Support Professional Association, School District Printing Services, Jimmie Beavers – Beavers, Inc. dba, Arby’s, Okaloosa Public School Foundation, Kinfolks Bar-B-Q, Time Saver Oil and Lube, Costa Enterprises, Kakes N Konfections, and Bippy’s Frozen Yogurt.

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, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.