Stacie Smith Named District Educational Support Professional of the Year

Stacie Smith, Okaloosa County School District Insurance Ombudsman, has been named the Okaloosa County School District Educational Support Professional of the Year.

Smith has been employed by District for eight years and in her present job for seven years. She oversees the District’s retiree benefits and helps employees who have claim issues with insurance companies. Among her duties she also oversees the employee wellness program for the District and has recently begun a television show called “Healthy Habitats for Kid’s” for this school year.

“It is my distinct privilege to recommend Stacie Smith as Okaloosa County School District’s Educational Support Professional of the Year for 2011,” said Okaloosa County School District Risk Manager, Jim Palmer. “Stacie began her service with the Okaloosa County School District as a secretary and her business acumen and exemplary work ethic were immediately evident. She quickly progressed from general clerical duties to handling open enrollments and issues pertaining to retiree benefits.”

Palmer went on to say that when the District instituted a health and wellness program for its employees, Smith took on the additional responsibility of its workings. Because this is an unfunded program, alternative financial support had to be found to get it started and maintained.

“Stacie has been integral in obtaining the much needed financial support for the Health and Wellness program through donations from the private sector, resulting in considerable savings to the District,” said Palmer. “Additionally, Stacie was instrumental in developing and facilitating the health screenings and walking programs. She is still currently involved in those aspects as well as disseminating all new health and wellness information as it is received from our health care resources.”

Smith also serves as the District’s liaison with Health Care providers and was recently appointed as an ombudsman with the District. In this capacity, she serves as an advocate and assists active and retired employees with claims, working tirelessly to obtain resolution to issues.

Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts presented Smith with a bouquet flowers and told her “no one was more deserving then her – you do so much to make sure that we all stay healthy. I am so proud of you. You are a hard worker and are so smart.”

“Stacie demonstrates the highest caliber of professionalism in her demeanor and interactions with the District’s employees and public,” said Palmer. “She is always willing to take on anything asked of her. This professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to serving the needs of our District employees and retirees, most certainly justifies her nomination as the Educational Support Professional of the Year.”

“Thank you so much,” said an excited Smith. “This means so much!”

First Runner-Up - Sandra Oldenburg, Fort Walton Beach High School High School

“How could a school run without a great bookkeeper?” asked Fort Walton Beach High School Principal, Charlene Couvillon. “I don’t know because I have one! If you ask me, the bookkeeper is just as important as any person in a school. She has to know more math than a calculus teacher; she has to be as diplomatic as a priest; she has to be able to follow rules better than a referee; and the list goes on and on of the qualities needed by a high school bookkeeper. Fortunately for me and Fort Walton Beach High School, Sandra Oldenburg has all of these qualities and then some.”

Oldenburg has been employed by the District and in her current position for the last six years. She is responsible for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable for both Internal and Budget accounts. She reconciles monthly bank statements for all Internal Accounts, orders textbooks and supplies for teachers, and maintains budgetary funds. She also fills in at the Front Desk when needed.

“One of Sandra’s most outstanding traits is that she is a team player. If something needs to be done, Sandra is always willing to jump in and help,” said Couvillon.

Oldenburg was selected by her peers as Fort Walton Beach High School’s Educational Support Professional Employee of the Year in 2008 and again in 2011.

Superintendent Tibbetts entered Oldenburg’s office to inform her that she was the Educational Support Professional of the Year first runner-up.

“Sandra is the epitome of the professional support employee. She is committed, loyal, hardworking, and just an all-around gem of a person. I can’t think of anyone to better represent all of the dedicated support people in Okaloosa County than Sandra Oldenburg,” said Couvillon.

“I take great pride in my position here at Fort Walton Beach High School,” stated Oldenburg. “I am honored that my fellow peers acknowledge my hard work and dedication. Thank you! Thank you!”

Second Runner-Up - Jimmy Adams, Maintenance Support Service North Zone

As a Site Base Technician, Jimmy Adams is an exceptional worker that takes a lot of care and pride in the facilities that he oversees, which is Richbourg School and Northwood Elementary School. 

“Jimmy is responsible for conducting preventive maintenance and minor repairs for these two facilities,” said Steve Bolton, Maintenance Support Services Program Director. “Jimmy completed over 100 work orders for Richbourg and Northwood.  In addition to completing many work orders there are several characteristics that distinguish Jimmy Adams from others.”

Those characteristics include acute problem solving skills, being caring and responsible, and being seen as a valuable asset to the School District.

Adams repairs air conditioning and electrical systems problems without calling upon other maintenance personnel who specialize in these trades, therefore making the department more efficient. He also checks with school teachers and staff frequently to identify problems before they happen. 

“Jimmy Adams is an outstanding employee and extremely valuable resource to the Okaloosa County School District,” said Bolton. “I whole heartedly recommend Jimmy Adams for Employee of the Year for Education Support, Okaloosa County School District.”

Adams has been employed by the District for twelve years and in his current position for nine.

“Although I didn’t nominate, it’s easy to imagine why someone did and why Jimmy was a finalist,” said Northwood Elementary School Principal, Jacqueline Craig. “His skill in maintenance and his understanding of people’s needs (keeping them warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather being one of them) makes us all here at Northwood happy and comfortable.  We like that!”

“There are just not enough good words to describe Jimmy,” said Mike Delpozo, North Zone Foreman. “He is just a model employee.”

“Jimmy, we are so proud of you,” said Superintendent Tibbetts. “You are so dependable and trustworthy and work so well with everyone. We are so glad that you are our employee and represent the Maintenance Department so well.”

“It’s an honor,” said a surprised and humble Adams.

All of the Educational Support Professional of the Year Award winners will be recognized at the annual awards breakfast on March 9th at the Niceville Community Center. 

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

School

Name

 

Antioch Elementary School

Angie Windham

 

Baker School

Arbidee McNair

 

Bay Area Office

Stacie Smith

 

Bluewater Elementary School

Sheila Commander

 

Bob Sikes Elementary School

Ghen Quarrier

Bruner Middle School

Suzanne Tauscher

Carver Hill Complex

Steve Woods

 

Choctaw High School

Barbara S. Youmans

 

CHOICE High School and Technical Center

Debi L. Brooks

 

Crestview High School

Heather Gartman Ramsey

 

Davidson Middle School

Delisa Josey

 

Department of Juvenile Justice

Diane Raybon

 

Destin Elementary School

Angela Winkler

 

Destin Middle School

Mary Weeks

 

Edge Elementary School

Giro Brigante

 

Edwins Elementary School

Jill Loesser

 

Eglin Elementary School

June Robbins

 

Elliott Point Elementary School

Yvette Karen McKinnie

 

Florosa Elementary School

Eleanor Hale

 

Fort Walton Beach High School

 Sandra Oldenburg

 

Kenwood Elementary School

Tami Large

 

Laurel Hill School

Barbara Sue Simmons

 

Lewis School

Cathy Brogdon

 

Longwood Elementary School

Traci Drew

 

Maintenance FWB South

Dennis Bowling

 

Maintenance North

Jimmy Adams

 

Maintenance Support and Grounds

Gary W. Kelly

 

Mary Esther Elementary School

Antonia Rivas Evans

 

Meigs Middle School

Minh Nguyen

 

Niceville High School

Greg Morrison

 

Northwood Elementary School

Gary A. Fryman

 

Plew Elementary School

Melissa Berry

 

Pryor Middle School

Carol Mallini

 

Richbourg School

Shigeko M. Freeman

 

Riverside Elementary School

Susan Baksa

 

Ruckel Middle School

Dale L. Ward

 

Shalimar Elementary School

Patricia Bryant

 

Shoal River Middle School

Candi Andreozzi

 

Silver Sands School

Paula Settoon

 

Southside Center

Lisa R. Jones

 

Transportation Central

Arnetta Spera

 

Transportation North

Cynthia deGraaf

 

Transportation South

Richard L. Hall

 

Walker Elementary School

Ann Gordon

 

Wright Elementary School

Toni Sullivan