Greenville County Schools and Greenville Federal Credit Union announced the winners of the Greenville County Schools Employee of the Year Awards at the Salute to Education banquet in May.
Winners were selected in six categories: School Support Employee of the Year, District Support Employee of the Year, Operations Employee of the Year, District Professional Employee of the Year, Assistant School Administrator of the Year, and School Administrator of the Year. Each award winner received $500 cash and a special award commissioned by Greenville Federal Credit Union. Their school or department also received $500 cash so all employees can share in the honor.
School Support Staff Employee of the Year
Debbie Bird, Front Office Clerk/Receptionist, Riverside High School
Mrs. Bird demonstrates grace under pressure when dealing with parents, students, faculty members, and administration. Her professionalism abounds as she multi-tasks throughout the day, paging an administrator, answering questions of callers, finding locker combinations for students, and executing a multitude of other tasks. Even the most upset parent leaves the front office with a smile because Mrs. Bird’s attitude is contagious. She goes out of her way to help staff members and never makes them feel as if they are inconveniencing her.
District Support Employee of the Year
Lisa Belt, Secretary for Curriculum and Staff Development, Special Education Services
Lisa has implemented countless streamlined processes, including a system to handle all of the district’s ordering, distributing and collecting duplicate text books. She also developed a system to ensure accurate information regarding the number of students with 504 plans as well as a way to track departmental offerings in professional development. The information Lisa gathers has been critical to assess the success of the department and to plan for long-range needs. She has been described as a modern-day “Rosie the Riveter” because of her constant selfless service.
District Professional Employee of the Year
Patty Fox, Coordinator of Evaluation and Professional Development, Human Resources Department
Patty’s favorite word is “Yes!” from the Shining Stars Program to Summer Academy. Her willingness to take on additional tasks speaks volumes for her work ethic and commitment to the district and community. Members of her team desire to represent her and the department in the highest manner because of their tremendous respect for her efforts to improve professional development and to ensure quality evaluation procedures. Because of Patty, district programs from teacher recruitment to hiring administrative level positions have recruited the best and brightest candidates.
School Administrator of the Year
Nicky Andrews, Principal, Greenbrier Elementary School
Greenbrier Elementary is the School of Kindness, and Nicky Andrews is the Principal of Kindness. Her desk is lined with notes from staff members, thanking her for some kindness she has shown them. She sends out emails when a staff member is going through a difficult time, and brings ice cream to classrooms when students meet a goal. During Mrs. Andrews’ tenure, the school has seen tremendous growth in student performance. Greenbrier has increased the percentage of student scoring Met and Exemplary on SC PASS, and has achieved a school letter grade of A for the past two years. Mrs. Andrews does not make a school decision without gathering feedback from her teachers. Most recently, Mrs. Andrews led Greenbrier to receive a $260,000 grant to increase student achievement for at-risk students.
Operations Employee of the Year
Cynthia Cantrell, Food and Nutrition Operator, Welcome Elementary School
Miss Cindy has made lunchtime one of the best times of the day for students at Welcome Elementary. She has the ability to turn problematic children into sweet students because she holds them accountable when she sees them. She knows each child by name and makes personal connections with them. She strives to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers. Miss Cindy serves as a great role model for students.
Assistant School Administrator of the Year
Jennifer Dodds, Assistant Principal, Chandler Creek Elementary School
Jennifer brings ideas and strategies to every administrative team meeting. As an administrator in a school with an 80 percent poverty index, Jennifer spearheaded a fifth grade trip to take students to the NASCAR Museum in Charlotte to work directly with force and motion. She organized the Real Men Read program where strong male role models came to the school to read to students. She was also instrumental in bringing the Google First Technology Club to Chandler Creek to educate students about computer coding.