Lee County School District is pleased to announce the five finalists for the 2017-2018 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year. Final Selection will be revealed on Friday, February 9th! Every year the District searches for the top School-Related Person of the Year, and each time the process becomes more difficult. There are thousands of hard-working staff members across the District. The District would like to recognize the following five employees as finalists for this year’s award – they embody the District’s vision of being world-class through their work in our schools each day.
Evie Barrett is much more than the PE Paraprofessional at Treeline Elementary. She is the first staff member to jump in and support any school initiative. She is one of the Directors of the after school “Kids Klub” program and her ideas to improve the program have increased enrollment. Evie coordinates school events such as teacher luncheons, fundraisers and grant writing for the PE Department. Her efforts have raised more than $25,000 for physical education. She is a member of the PTO, is active in off-campus events and serves as the backup for the music program. For her PE students, Evie creates class tournaments in various sports, brings in outside groups like the FSW Softball team to speak to students, organizes “Jump Rope for the Heart” and assists in teaching various skills and games. Her contributions are essential to the success of Treeline Elementary.
There is a reason that Bernadette Deis is known as “The boss” at Hancock Creek Elementary. Bernadette is one of four remaining original employees from when the school opened in 1993. Officially, Bernadette is the school’s Information Specialist, and her work is highly regarded. Many other schools ask for her to train their specialists. Bernadette is a one-woman welcoming committee for Hancock Creek and the entire district. She welcomes new hires with a huge hello, sells the Florida sunshine, provides school tours, mentors, cares for the sick and listens to the lonely. For her students, Bernadette keeps an emergency drawer full of things like money so that no student has to go without a special treat or event ticket, a hair brush to help them clean up and feel good about themselves and tea and honey to comfort a sore throat. Bernadette is considered an integral part of her school’s daily success.
Kevin Nobles is a big help to the staff and students at Veterans Park Academy for the Arts. Not just because he is a Helping Teacher, but because he is the first one to respond to any need for help around the school. Kevin’s primary role is to work in a Social Communication Classroom. He has a natural talent for building relationships with students of all ages and is often sought out by them for his friendly and approachable demeanor. Kevin and his wife Beverly, a teacher at VPPA, run the school’s Ignite program. They inspire the students to live their lives in a positive and spiritual manner so they can grow up to be positive influences. Kevin also leads the Agriculture Club and he left his mark on the campus by helping students transform the landscaping in front of the school. He is considered an invaluable team member at VPPA who spreads positivity around the entire campus.
Dianne Persad is known for giving 100% to the students and staff at Harns Marsh Middle School, but it’s the way she gives back that makes her stand out. Dianne is an ESE Paraprofessional in inclusion classrooms. She donates her first paycheck of the school year back to the school. She has also donated backpacks and school supplies, and paid for field trips. She has given gift cards to teachers in times of need and has bought gifts for teachers who could not afford them for their own family. One teacher confided to administration that Dianne’s generosity made Christmas possible. Dianne was once a personal chef and recently spent 20 hours preparing a Christmas luncheon for the school. She hands out Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets to students and staff. Dianne is an inspiration to her school and constantly strives to lift others up.
Kim Sherron is making more than lunch as the Cafeteria Manager at Caloosa Middle School. In an effort to make sure her students are well fed Kim instituted a dinner program at the middle school. Kim also wanted to make sure her students were getting more choices at lunch so she implemented a menu similar to the Middle School Food Court. To increase the offerings at breakfast, Kim suggested the option of something hot and something cold. Her ideas are now spreading to other schools. She was the first Dual School Cafeteria Manager to pilot the Veggie Bar program, and she was an integral part of the team that put the WebSmart Point of Sale system into our schools by helping to set it up and train managers and employees. Kim prides herself on providing great tasting, good quality, fresh food and her creativity, passion and dedication drive a model of excellence for her school.