'Face of Hernando High' named School Related Employee of the Year
MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times
Teri Sellers, the first person people see as they enter, “is the face of Hernando High School,” says principal Leechele Booker. Sellers has worked there nearly 14 years and volunteers with sports and cheerleading programs. “I am very dedicated to this school,” she said.
Teri Sellers suggested to her family and friends that they didn't need to make plans to accompany her to a school celebration on Nov. 23. She would be happy to be there with her school friends.
It's a suggestion Sellers probably has had second thoughts about.
Because they stayed home, Sellers' family members and friends will have to rely on a video that shows her accepting the honor of 2013-14 Hernando County School Related Employee of the Year.
"I didn't realize it was going to be a big award and that I would win that," she said.
The shock of hearing her name announced left Sellers shaking.
"I didn't stop shaking until I got to church Sunday morning," she said.
Sellers is a Hernando High School secretary whose work station is at the front desk in the main office.
"She is the face of Hernando High School," said principal Leechele Booker. "She's like a ray of sunshine when you walk into the front office."
Sellers has held many jobs at the school during nearly 14 years as a Leopard. She started as an off-campus tennis coach.
"I worked in ISS (in-school suspension). I worked in athletics. I've worked in the ag (agriculture) department with Mr. (Rick) Ahrens. I worked with ESE (exceptional student education) students, and then two years ago I was moved up to this front office by (previous principal) Mr. (Ken) Pritz," she said. "I believe they found what I did best."
Each school day, Sellers works from between 6 and 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., sometimes staying until 4 or 5 p.m. And she volunteers after school at wrestling meets, her favorite school sport. A former cheerleader and cheerleading coach, she also mentors the current cheerleading coach.
Sellers has lived in Florida for 45 of her 48 years and is a product of the Hernando County school system. She graduated from Springstead High School in 1983. She attended Pasco-Hernando Community College for a while before moving to Clearwater to work. She returned to Brooksville for a wedding, where she met Harvey "Scooter" Sellers, the reason she returned to Brooksville, then settled, had three daughters and found her way to Hernando High.
Now she bleeds purple and gold. She sometimes wears a big, sparkling purple ring shaped like a leopard paw.
"I am very dedicated to this school," she said.
And Sellers is thrilled with her newly bestowed title.
"I was honored to be with a lot of those people," she said about the candidates from other schools and work sites. "I know how hard they work. I was honored and very happy."
© 2014 Tampa Bay Times
And the nominees are …
School Related Employee of the Year nominees included:
BROOKSVILLE ELEMENTARY: Rafael Rodriguez, a custodian in his second year at the school.
CHOCACHATTI ELEMENTARY: Tracey Ketchum, the school's bookkeeper for seven years.
DELTONA ELEMENTARY: Jennifer Waddell, who has been doing data entry at the school for four years.
EASTSIDE ELEMENTARY: Cheryl Hicks, a food service assistant who has been at the school for three years.
MOTON ELEMENTARY: Gilberto Barnes, a custodian is in his first year at the school.
PINE GROVE ELEMENTARY: Linda Brown, the in-school suspension paraprofessional. She has been at the school for 19 years.
SPRING HILL ELEMENTARY: Kelly Muller, a school health professional in her seventh year at the school.
SUNCOAST ELEMENTARY: Cecile Hernandez, a food service assistant who has been at the school for 20 years.
WESTSIDE ELEMENTARY: Paul Watson Sr., a custodian who has been at the school for 10 months.
CHALLENGER K-8: Denise Borras, a Quest Academy secretary who has been at the school four years.
EXPLORER K-8: Alice Guillerma Perez-Ulgasan, a food and nutrition assistant. This is her sixth year at Explorer.
J.D. FLOYD K-8: Harry Viruet, a custodian who has been at the school for nine years.
WINDING WATERS K-8: Cheryl Schurecht, a school health professional who has been at the school for three years.
FOX CHAPEL MIDDLE: Janice Piarulli, the confidential secretary to the principal and assistant principal. This is Piarulli's third year in her present position.
PARROTT MIDDLE: Chuck Leahy, a custodian in his fourth year at the school.
POWELL MIDDLE: Peter Ram, the school's head custodian, who has been at the school for 22 years.
WEST HERNANDO MIDDLE: Dan Marcinowski, the school's computer lab manager, who is in his third year at the school.
CENTRAL HIGH: Lisa Bishop, an exceptional student education paraprofessional who has been at Central for 13 years.
HERNANDO HIGH: Teri Sellers, a secretary who has been at the school for 13 years.
NATURE COAST TECHNICAL HIGH: Ginger Kretzer, a secretary/bookkeeper in her 10th year at the school.
SPRINGSTEAD HIGH: Elizabeth Sprouse, a confidential secretary who is in her fifth year at Springstead.
WEEKI WACHEE HIGH: Lauren Blackwell, a bookkeeper who is in her second year at the school.
ENDEAVOR ACADEMY: Sandra Vargas, a dropout prevention paraprofessional who has been at the school for four years.
BUSINESS SERVICES DIVISION: Laurel Terrell, a risk management specialist with human resources/risk management. She has been with the district for 14 years, six in human resources.
DIVISION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING: Steve Howland, a computer operator in technology information services for six years.
DIVISION OF STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Larry Deal, a maintenance equipment technician who has been with the department for two years.