District Announces School-Related Employee of the Year
Six individuals from around the District have been named as finalists for Broward’s School-Related Employee of the Year 2010, and will be honored at a breakfast and ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 8:30 a.m., at the Signature Grand, 6900 State Road 84 in Davie.
The finalists are:
Cathy Blankenship, Office Manager I/Confidential
Quiet Waters Elementary
As a clerical employee with the school district for 28 years, Cathy Blankenship has the experience and knowledge that enables her to understand the responsibilities of each clerical job classification. These skills allow her to manage the clerical staff and make implementations to assure a smooth running office at Quiet Waters Elementary School.
Through Blankeship’s leadership, an E-mail group for the North Area schools was created to get the help and assistance needed with implementing both SAP and BRITE. Even though everyone has become comfortable using both programs, she still sends out tips, suggestion sand reminders to the schools in the Monarch Zone and to 20 other office managers.
In addition to regular school duties, Blankenship unselfishly gives her time and talent to assist with school-wide, extra curricular activities that benefit students. She is always willing to answer payroll and benefits questions, serve on school committees and representthe North Area as an active member of the Confidential Office Personnel Association.
Blankenship always treats others with kindness and grace. The staff at Quiet Waters holds her in high esteem and values her contributions to the work environment. She exemplifies a strong, conscientious and professional woman who is a role model for all those she leads and supports.
Jenna Gentile, Guidance Data Specialist
Nova High School
Describing her daily duties would only scratch the surface of what Guidance Data Specialist Jenna Gentile does at Nova High School. Gentile goes out of her way to assist teachers with curriculum development, aid administrators in collecting and analyzing critical testing and school-wide data and is vital to the success of the Guidance Department.
She came to Nova High seven years ago as a front office receptionist. Her calm demeanor showcased her ability to deal with parents and visitors, and she was moved into an administrative secretarial position dealing with student discipline and parent concerns. She was then promoted to Guidance Data Specialist.
Seeing Gentile at her school after school hours and on weekends is not unusual. She spends countless hours preparing all the materials for Nova’s graduation, including creating the script, program, seating chart and coordinating ticket distribution. She oversees the school’s mentoring program and works with students on community service projects. She spends Saturdays helping with FCATCamp registration and supervising the administration of SAT and ACT exams.
Gentile plays an essential role in Nova High School’s success. Her personality and warmth make her extremely approachable and a delight to work with. Gentile has established herself as a leader, mentor and a friend to everyone around her.
Deokumar “Duke” Megnauth, Micro-Computer Technology Specialist
Gulfstream Middle School
Deokumar “Duke” Megnauth has been a full-time Micro-Computer Technology Specialist at Gulfstream Middle for three years and is known for his high standard of performance. He assists the administration, teachers, students and parents at Gulfstream Middle with respect and dignity.
Megnauthhas a passion for educational technology. As a student at Hallandale High, he worked on the school’s tech team and learned networking and basic repairs. He put those skills to use when he joined the Gulfstream Middle staff. His resume has now expanded to include maintenance, more extensive repairs and the use of Digital Classrooms. He also plays a keyrole in the school’s inventory tracking.
Every morning before school starts, Megnauth opens the computer lab so students can have a safe place to hone their computer skills, work on homework and school projects, or just have a roof over their heads and someone to talk to. He also holds “Wired Wednesday” once a week, so teachers can address their technology needs.
The energy and enthusiasm Megnauth demonstrates as he goes about his life are remarkable. He emulates humility and compassion as he serves others and always expresses appreciation to others for their efforts.
Bess Scully, Office Manager/Confidential Secretary
Nob Hill Elementary
Bess Scully is a dedicated and hard-working individual. As Nob Hill Elementary School’s Office Manager/ConfidentialSecretary, she works diligently to provide the highest quality of service, efficiency and accuracy in working with the teachers, staff, parents and students.
Scully demonstrates outstanding communication skills on a daily basis in dealing with parents, students, employees and District personnel, often solving problems without any additional assistance. She shows great skill in completing her duties and meeting all deadlines.
In a school that serves 728 students, the pressures can be draining. On many occasions Scully is left to handle details while administrators are off campus. She has dealt with irate parents diplomatically, called 911 for injured children and ridden with them to the hospital, made home visits to ensure that a sick child or adult has been taken care of, and worked many late nights.
Staff members say Scully is fun-loving, hard working, capable and a self-starter. She is an extraordinary asset to the school and an invaluable asset to the students, staff and parents of Nob Hill Elementary.
Joy Thibodeau, Secretary II
Coconut Creek High School
Joy Thibodeau is the friendly face in the office and comforting voice on the phone at Coconut Creek High School. Employed at the school for the past 12 years, she has accepted many varied responsibilities and has gained knowledge in all aspects of the school and its personnel. She is helpful, pleasant and professional in her dealings with parents, students and staff.
As the secretary to the assistant principal, Thibodeau not only helps with curriculum programs preparation for training, she also serves as the back-up office manager and sub-coordinator. When other clerical staff needs assistance, she steps in to lend a hand. When administrators need work done, she is willing and able.
Thibodeau possesses all the qualities of an excellent secretary. She is dedicated, organized and professional. She is willing to assume any task and go beyond her work hours until the project is completed. She readily accepts new challenges and is always looking for new ways to do her job more efficiently. She has an amazing attitude and demonstrates a willingness to help whenever possible.
Astrid Thomas, Food and Nutrition Services Manager
Stranahan High School
Becoming the Food and Nutrition Services Manager at Stranahan High School was a homecoming for Astrid Thomas, as she is a graduate of the school. She started as a general food worker at Western High School 18 years ago, completed the Intern Manager Program and was at Oriole Elementary School before coming to Stranahan.
Thomas cares about the success of her students, teachers and staff. She assists her staff and ensures that every student is fed in a timely manner. She not only meets with students to address their lunch eligibility status, but also serves as amentor, allowing students to share their social, emotional and educational needs. She demonstrates her pride in Stranahan High School by displaying school-themed paraphernalia and encouraging her staff to wear school shirts and school colors.
Food and Nutrition Services administrators view Thomas as an “out of the box” thinker and a “go to” person in resolving challenging operational situations. She can be counted on to find a way to make a process happen.
Thomas is an exemplary food and nutrition services manager. Her positive attitude, commitment to the school district and seemingly endless energy garner her appreciation from supervisors and staff.
School-Related Employee of the Year 2010 semi-finalists include:
Thelma Barrow, Materials Logistics
Sherry Candelaria, Bethune Elementary
Cathy Daughtry, Pre-K- 2 Department
Leah Daub, South Area Office
Jan Dialexander, Teaching and Leadership Center
Nicole Grace, New River Middle School
Michael Hurley, ETS
Johanna Lang, BECON Print Graphics
Carol Lentini, North Area Office
Jeanine Nemeroff, Rock Island Elementary School
Lisa Shehan, Lyons Creek Middle School
Ricky Stefancik, Central Area Office
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