Support employees at a school answer phones, greet visitors and assist in the classroom. The best of them do other things without pay — baking cookies for the PTA, sitting in for parents who cannot make conference night and filling in when a teacher or aide is away. One will be named Hillsborough Instructional Support Employee of the Year at the Excellence in Education banquet on March 28. These are this year's finalists, and some of what their principals wrote in their nomination letters.
Oak Park Elementary School
"Ms. Blackmon tutors students on her lunch break; she also helps teachers with various projects in their classrooms. Ms. Blackmon is always assisting in PTA functions. She has successfully demonstrated leadership ability by counseling new and experienced teachers. Her advice has been a great help to these teachers, many of whom have taken time to share their comments with me regarding her pleasant and encouraging attitude."
— Joyce Miles, principal
Essrig Elementary School
"One example of the many ways in which she demonstrates kindness to our students is when she served as the practice person for student-led conferencing in a first grade classroom. This classroom includes many special-needs students and she patiently listened to the young students as they told her about their learning goals and showed her their progress. When some parents could not attend the "real conference," Maryann was right there to fill in as a surrogate parent so the child was not disappointed, nor embarrassed. She celebrated with the students on their accomplishments."
— Teresa Campbell, principal
Symmes Elementary School
"Kelly Foss consistently rates exemplary on audits. She balances this attention to detail on collecting and receiving funds with attention to the people who make up our school community. Kelly is patient with teachers and is often helping them with securing substitutes, collecting for field trips and many other tasks. Mrs. Foss helps students by attending to their medical needs when the nurse is out and making sure we know of their transportation changes. She covered in kindergarten when our paraprofessional was out, and she enjoys reading to the younger students."
— Julie Hasson, principal
Brenda Gail Mosley
Robinson Elementary School
"Anyone who has visited Robinson has had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Mosley because she is one of the first friendly faces you encounter in the front office. Not only does she support the many profound duties of the principal, but also she makes all parents feel important and welcome. She has a gentle way of caring, listening, and problem solving to support all individuals. Her compassion for others models her love for mankind."
— Alicia Wilkerson, principal
Claywell Elementary School
"She has the 'it' factor that cannot necessarily be put into words, but when you see it you know it. It is my belief that to truly impact an individual's life you need to engage in their life. She has so many truly rich stories about the families and students she teaches. The parents gush when they talk about her, about all the changes she has made in their child's life. I asked students what they thought about Ms. Nunez. They simply love her."
— Robert Jones, principal