Education Support Professionals – Vital to Our Schools

The Okaloosa County School District’s Educational Support Professional Employees of the Year for 2012 were recently honored at the 10th 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.” 

“Our Educational Support Professionals are the first people our kids see when they get off the bus and often the last they see when they leave,” said Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts. “We couldn’t run our schools without them and we appreciate them!”

Stacie Smith, Okaloosa County School District Insurance Ombudsman, was recognized as the Okaloosa County School District Educational Support Professional of the Year. First Runner-Up was Sandra Oldenburg, Fort Walton Beach High School High School and Second Runner-Up was Jimmy Adams, Maintenance Support Service North Zone.

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 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



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; Cathy Thigpen, School Board Member, District 4; Valarie Moreland, Retired ESE Classroom Assistant; Patrick Strong, OCESPA, President; Marcia Carr, Mary Esther ES Library Assistant and Educational Support Professional of the Year 2011.

Catering Services

Chef David R. Mason and students from the Academy of Culinary Arts, CHOICE HS and Technical Center.

Program and Printing

Martha Adams, Secretary to the Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum; and Perry Rich and Staff, School District Printing Services.


Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation; Jimmie Beavers, Beavers, Inc.; and  Newman-Dailey Resort Properties, Inc.


The Trophy Center and Bay Area Awards

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.