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 five categories: School Support Employee of the Year, Operations Employee of the Year, Assistant School Administrator of the Year, School Administrator of the Year, and District Professional Employee 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
Kim Brice, Instructional Coach, Bethel Elementary School
Kim Brice is known for making personal connections with the staff at Bethel Elementary. She understands her role as Instructional Coach and wants to help teachers so they can help students. Her enthusiasm is contagious, drawing in teachers who have had a rough day only to leave her office with their spirits lifted. Mrs. Brice supports new teachers by modeling lessons and through quarterly meetings known as Quarters with Kim. She is always supportive and ready to pause her work to help teachers with questions or concerns. The staff describes her as having an infectious smile and energetic attitude.
Operations Employee of the Year
Marilyn Masters, Bus Driver, Donaldson Bus Center
Marilyn Masters has been a bus driver for Greenville County Schools at the Donaldson Bus Center for more than 20 years. She is responsible for opening the building at 4 AM each day. After her morning route, she returns to Donaldson Bus Center to maintain radios and cameras for more than 40 buses. She is compassionate and caring, qualities that were recently applauded when she was making a stop on her high school route where students were required to cross the road. The bus warning lights had been activated and the stop arm had been extended. Ms. Masters signaled her students to HOLD, or stay in place until signaled, while she waited for oncoming traffic to stop. A vehicle approached the bus from behind and passed the bus on the right shoulder at a considerable speed. Because Ms. Masters was following procedure to the letter, those three students are safe.
District Professional Employee of the Year
Dr. Jason McCreary, Director, Accountability and Quality Assurance
Dr. McCreary has earned the reputation for providing principals with clear guidance on navigating and understanding the state accountability policies in language that is easy to understand. Dr. McCreary is frequently called on at the state level to provide input on a variety of matters related to testing, graduation rate, accountability, and other critical areas. Having him at the table in state-level discussions is a tremendous asset for Greenville County Schools. He initiated the development of GC Source Early Warning System that has resulted in a tool that gives teachers and administrators on-time data on student outcomes, ensuring that no student falls through the cracks. Dr. McCreary not only understands data and research, but has a passion for student success that drives him to inspire and challenge school leaders.
School Administrator of the Year
Michael Weeks, Director, Roper Mountain Science Center
Michael Weeks’ vision for Roper Mountain Science Center has led to the creation of hands-on, standards-based learning labs that provide experiences that can’t easily be achieved in a classroom. He nurtures relationships with community partners to raise funds for the renovation of the TC Hooper Planetarium, the launch of the Butterfly Adventure program, and an Adventure Trail which has added physical education standards to the Center’s offerings. Mr. Weeks’ support of staff and his commitment to open communication have allowed all employees to feel valued and successful. He is not only the face of Roper Mountain, he is also the force behind its success.
Assistant School Administrator of the Year
Joseph Foster, Freshman Class Assistant Principal, Wade Hampton High School
In his four years at Wade Hampton High, Joe Foster has made significant strides in the Freshmen Academy. He requires evidence-based grading, which means students must show mastery of the work before a grade is received. He ensures that teachers have common planning periods to provide adequate time to discuss student learning. This has resulted in a 99.4 percent promotion rate among freshmen last school year. He works with students to develop “soft skills” such as time management and perseverance. He also works diligently with ESOL students to help them assimilate into the culture of an American high school and feel a strong sense of belonging.