District Names Award Candidates; Ten from Northwest Schools Are Nominated for School-Related Employee of the Year

Article excerpt

Byline: lisa miller

They answer the never-ending telephone rings, serve trays of cafeteria food and scrub yards of scuff marks off linoleum floors.

They're called school-related employees, but some say these professionals have just as much of an impact on students as instructors.

The St. Johns County School District recently announced its candidates for School-Related Employee of the Year, one nominee from each school and district office.

Those honored in the northwest include:

Ofelia Hampton, computer operator for Bartram Trail High

Brandy Harvey, receptionist/clerk for Cunningham Creek Elementary

Allison Russo, school technology support specialist for Durbin Creek Elementary

Julie Lewandowski, exceptional student education teacher aide at Fruit Cove Middle

Lawrence Davis, maintenance at Hickory Creek Elementary

Rene Owens, receptionist for Julington Creek Elementary

Dennis Taylor, custodian/maintenance at Mill Creek Elementary

Elaine Howell, computer operator for Nease High

Joan Marie Beccard, nurse assistant at Switzerland Point Middle

Valarie North, teacher aide III/front office at Timberlin Creek Elementary

Superintendent Joseph Joyner said these employees play a critical part in a students' education.

"School-related employees enhance the educational experience for the children whose lives they touch, and they are essential to the successful operation of our schools and School District," he said.

Criteria for the award are exemplary job performance, dedication on the job, interpersonal skills, leadership ability, inservice/training to up grade skills and contributions to the school and school district environment.

A district-wide screening committee is reviewing all the nominations and will select the district representative, who will then go on to the regional competition. …