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Hernando County school-related employees to be honored Friday

The men and women throughout the Hernando County School District who support the instructional staff have chosen the 2010-2011 School-Related Employees of the Year at their work sites. • They include secretaries, paraprofessionals, bookkeepers, custodians, a cafeteria worker, a health care worker and a bus driver. They and their colleagues all contribute to the safety, cleanliness, organization, well-being and student success in the schools and in district offices. On Friday night, they will be recognized and celebrated and a single representative will be chosen as the district's School-Related Employee of the Year. • These are the site School-Related Employees of the Year and a little bit about them.

Brooksville Elementary School

Dell O. Barnes Sr., 48, is the computer lab manager. He has been at the school for four years and with the district for six.

Duties: Maintaining and operating the school's computer labs. He assists students and teachers and provides reports to teachers and administration as required. He participates in training, such as schoolwide technology, curriculum through technology training and/or district technology training.

Best part of my job: "When my students' faces light up like Christmas trees, their little hands fly up in the air and wave like flags and they scream with delight, 'I got it, Mr. Barnes! I got it!' ''

Business Services

Pat Crawford is the position control specialist in the Finance Department. She has been with the district for 30 years and at her site for 12.

Duties: Responsible for district staff allocations and expenditures; salary/benefits, forecasting portions position control, which projects the cost of salaries and benefits for the next year's budget; processing all differentiated pay for additional duty/supplements and verifying position and account information on all personnel forms.

Central High School

Linda N. Hilbert, 51, is a guidance secretary. She has been at the school and with the district for eight years.

Duties: She is the guidance secretary for six counselors and assists all students, teachers, parents and faculty.

Best part of my job: "Helping anyone who needs service, taking care of the students' needs and watching them evolve and succeed."

Challenger K-8

Carla Newman, 50, is a secretary. She has been with the district for seven years and at the school for four.

Duties: She is the assistant principals' secretary, discipline secretary and substitute coordinator. She often acts as a liaison with parents or students who need to speak to an assistant principal.

Best part of my job: "Doing whatever I can to make a difference in the day of a student or staff member. Being able to offer them a smile or help them in some way is very rewarding to me."

Chocachatti Elementary School

JoAnn Musicaro is a kindergarten paraprofessional. She has been with the district for more than 18 years and at Chocachatti for 11.

Duties: She helps children with phonics and crafts and helps teachers with duties in the classrooms. She assists nine teachers.

Best part of my job: "Working with the children. I enjoy working with the little ones very much."

Deltona Elementary School

Denise Disser, 58, is a food and nutrition associate. She has been at the school and with the district for seven years.

Duties: Preparation of and serving breakfast and lunch to students and staff.

Best part of my job: "I love being around (the kids). I am the happiest when I can either be serving them their food or running the register. There is nothing better than hearing the students call my name to say 'hi' or having them come over to me and give me a hug."

Eastside Elementary School

Donna R. Milliken, 55, is the health professional. She has been at the school and with the district for 24 years.

Duties: Taking care of the health care of the students, staff and volunteers while they are at school. Coordinate the health screenings, distribute fluoride and maintain health records for all students.

Best part of my job: "I love it when I can help the children feel better. The children make the day interesting. The job is never boring!"

Explorer K-8

Gwendolyn Brazinski, 56, is the assistant principals' secretary. She has been at Explorer for three years and with the district for 25.

Duties: Scheduling substitutes, processing work orders and discipline issues and secretarial duties that support the assistant principals.

Best part of my job: "Assisting the staff and students at our school. I want to be the kind of person that people feel comfortable coming to for assistance."

Fox Chapel Middle School

Dean Griffin, 56, is a custodian. He has been with the district for nearly four years.

Duties: Opening the campus, from raising the flag and breakfast cleanup in the cafeteria to meeting with maintenance personnel and helping teachers or staff.

Best part of my job: "I enjoy my job very much because of the interaction with everyone from students to teachers. … One thing I always get a little laugh from is being back in school after all these years. As a student, I couldn't wait to be out of school, now look at me.''

Hernando High School

Mildred Garcia-Vargas, 37, is secretary to assistant principal Brent Gaustad and discipline secretary. She has been with the district for more than six years, two of them at Hernando High.

Duties: Helps the school resource officer and dean of discipline. She puts in work orders, keeps the campus keys, and handles parking and locker assignments.

Best part of my job: "The communication with the students, giving them advice when they need it, to watch them grow and succeed in their goals; this is the best satisfaction anyone can hope for. I love everything about my job, the staff, students and responsibilities."

J.D. Floyd School of Environmental Science

Donna Diven, 51, is a secretary. She has been with the district for six years and at J.D. Floyd for six.

Duties: Front office secretary, coordinates volunteers, field trips, business partners, Ed-line parent liaison, Student Achievement Award coordinator, handles work orders, master calendar, printing and substitute backup.

Best part of my job: "Knowing I make a difference with my positive attitude and smile when people call or come into the front office. I give parents and students the first impression of our school. … If I can help them and they leave with a smile on their face, I've done my job well!"


David Jutting, 48, is a semi-skilled craftsman. He has been with the district and at the site for four years.

Duties: Maintains the buildings and landscaping.

Best part of my job: "I've been in the building grounds and maintenance fields for the past 30 years. I enjoy the variety of work I am assigned and keeping busy. Hopefully, I have satisfied customers and my work has made a little bit of a difference for the schools."

Moton Elementary School

Nguyen "Gwen" Mangual, 36, is an ESOL paraprofessional. She has been with the district and with the school for four years.

Duties: Assisting teachers and students who speak English as a second language and helping students with reading, language arts, math, science and social studies.

Best part of my job: "Seeing students with limited English-speaking abilities at the beginning of the year end it speaking fluently."

Nature Coast Technical High School

Mimi Castro, 47, is an office clerk. She has been with the district for 10 years and at Nature Coast for six.

Duties: Backing up the front desk receptionist, answering calls, greeting and directing visitors, sorting and filing confidential cumulative folders for guidance and assisting with the discipline.

Best part of my job: "When I complete all my multitask work and see smiles on the personnel."

Parrott Middle School

Alicia Rivera, 52, is the school's food nutrition assistant manager. She has been with the district for 11 years and at Parrott for four.

Duties: Coordinating set-up, food production and service of special functions as requested; schedules; accounting for the money; monitoring the food, nonfood and commodities; keeping accurate records.

Best part of my job: "The most important part of my job is making sure that all students are very well taken care of. Students make your day interesting and as long as they are happy, I feel accomplished."

Pine Grove Elementary School

Carmen Arroyo, 61, is the ESOL paraprofessional. She has been with the district for 14 years and at Pine Grove for 13.

Duties: Helping non- and limited-English speaking students speak and understand English.

Best part of my job: "Giving my students a strong foundation so they can build in the future."

Powell Middle School

Bill Rees, 60, is a custodian. He has been with the district and at Powell for six years.

Duties: Cleaning the cafeteria, classrooms and restrooms.

Best part of my job: "Keeping the campus disinfected and spotless for the kids, faculty and staff.''

Spring Hill Elementary School

Kelly Muller, 37, a licensed practical nurse, is a school health professional. She has been with the district and at the school for nearly six years.

Duties: Tend to sick and injured children and staff. Dispense medication and fluoride, perform health screenings and calculate BMIs. Teach the fifth-grade puberty class, refer needy students for glasses and clothes. Be a child's second mom when they are at school and need a kind word or a hug.

Best part of my job: "Absolutely the children! This fifth-grade class is the first class I've followed from kindergarten through fifth. It's been so amazing to watch them on their journey toward middle school. The staff here is amazing as well.''

Springstead High School

Janette Boyd, 56, is a secretary. She has been at the school and with the district for 11 years.

Duties: Bookkeeper, benefits coordinator, textbook coordinator, shipping and receiving coordinator.

Best part of my job: "The people on the Springstead campus — faculty, staff and students. It is a joy to watch these teenagers grow and mature while they are here at SHS. And when I see them succeed, it is gratifying to know I had a small part in that."

Star Education Center

Wayne Steffen, 68, is the center's drop out prevention paraprofessional. He has been with the district for eight years, seven of them at the center.

Duties: Help teachers by giving students additional instruction or mentoring as needed.

Best part of my job: "I am happy when our students return to their zoned school and they are successful."

Student Services

Julie Cirrincione, 39, is the secretary to the director of student services. She has been with the district and at student services for five years.

Duties: Provide clerical support for two department administrators, serve as the department's bookkeeper and timekeeper and prepare department documents for board workshops and meetings; create manuals, forms, and presentations; support more than 30 staffers and help maintain daily office operations and organization.

Best part of my job: "I work with a great team of people. We are all like family. It is great when I can help someone with a project that can make their day a little easier.''

Suncoast Elementary School

Lucille Mulry, 48, is a secretary. She has been at Suncoast and with the district for six years.

Duties: Support for the assistant principal, front office secretary, disciplines, weekly bulletin, parent liaison, use of facilities, clinic, assist guidance, data.

Best part of my job: "Seeing the kids every day, they are funny, honest, smart. I love my co-workers. We are a family. It is an honor to work with children in any capacity.''


Suzanne Andersen, 67, is a bus driver. She has been a driver with the district for 20 years.

Duties: Transporting students safely to and from school.

Best part of my job: "Knowing you are safely transporting tomorrow's future."

Warehouse and Property Inventory Department

Billy McHale is a property accounting specialist with the district warehouse. He has been with the district and at his present site for seven years.

Duties: Assist all aspects in completion of surplus auctions and assist in scheduling warehouse duties for five employees. Responsible for shipping and receiving testing materials and processing warehouse tickets.

West Hernando Middle School

Chris Theiss, 59, is an exceptional student education para-professional. She has been with the district for seven years and at West Hernando for six.

Duties: Working with students who are medically fragile and those who have varying exceptionalities. Being their hands, legs, and voices.

Best part of my job: "Being able to see the smiles on the students' faces and also the phenomenal staff that I work with.''

Westside Elementary School

Stacie Wharton is the school's Title I parent educator. She has been with the district and at the school for 13 years.

Duties: Assist students and families in borrowing materials from the Westside Family Center, sign up students for free tutoring, plan and coordinate parent involvement workshops; ensure the school complies with Title I.

Best part of my job: "Seeing the happy contented faces of parents/guardians along with their students after a successful night of learning at a workshop or when families visit me … to borrow learning materials. It helps me to realize that I do make a difference."

Weeki Wachee High School

Danette M. McBride, 57, is a secretary II. She has been with the district for four years and with the school since it opened in August.

Duties: Handle discipline files, schedule substitutes, keep the current school events calendar updated, parking assignments.

Best part of my job: "I have always enjoyed working as a team member, serving where needed and interacting with the students. The faculty and staff really do come together as a team.''

Hernando County school-related employees to be honored Friday 11/17/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 10:55pm]
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