Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013

Six School District Employees Named 2013 Employees of the Year

Left to right:
Brenda Byrd, Bethel Elementary; Steve Banks, Greenville Federal Credit Union; Jackie Cauley, Accountability and Quality Assurance; Terri Wheeler-Haskins, Oakview Elementary; Mike Robinson, Maintenance Department; Rebecca Pridgeon, Carolina High & Academy; W. Burke Royster, Superintendent; Michael Simmons, Education Technology Services
Left to right: Brenda Byrd, Bethel Elementary; Steve Banks, Greenville Federal Credit Union; Jackie Cauley, Accountability and Quality Assurance; Terri Wheeler-Haskins, Oakview Elementary; Mike Robinson, Maintenance Department; Rebecca Pridgeon, Carolina High & Academy; W. Burke Royster, Superintendent; Michael Simmons, Education Technology Services

Greenville County Schools and Greenville Federal Credit Union announced six winners of the Greenville County Schools Employee of the Year Awards at last night’s Salute to Education banquet. 

Winners were selected in six categories: School Administrator of the Year, Assistant School Administrator of the Year, School Support Employee of the Year, Operations Employee of the Year, District Professional Employee of the Year, and District Support 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 share in the honor.

School Support Employee of the Year

Rebecca Pridgeon, Guidance Clerk
Carolina High School and Academy
Rebecca Pridgeon is in the business of relationship-building. As the guidance clerk, she is in frequent contact with parents and students, helping them make informed decisions about their education. She has put a system in place at the school to monitor, track and report students’ graduation progress as well as to provide documentation to support the transient school population. Mrs. Pridgeon uses her relationships with outside agencies to help families take advantage of community resources. Her rapport and calm spirit create an environment that is supportive, sensitive, and sympathetic.

District Support Employee of the Year

Jackie Cauley, Secretary
Accountability and Quality Assurance
Jackie Cauley maintains an efficient and organized Research Department with prompt and courteous responses to requests for information.  She designed and implemented a customized, electronic filing system to effortlessly locate required and archived documents.  The system was so effective she shared this expertise with other office professionals during last year’s Summer Academy.  Jackie provides invaluable service to schools by ordering and receiving standardized reports such as ACT, SAT, and AP assessments.  She facilitates structure and order, promotes communication, and remains calm in stressful situations.

Operations Employee of the Year

Mike Robinson, Technology Crew Chief
Maintenance Department
Mike Robinson spends his own time researching the latest technology in public address systems, camera systems, and security systems for schools. His constant flow of innovative ideas has consistently saved the district money in materials and labor.  Mike reviewed and rewrote the specifications to improve the performance of school camera systems used in the new middle school currently under construction. He is likeable, motivated, dedicated, and curious, making him a great employee.

District Professional Employee of the Year

Michael Simmons, Greenville County Schools Webmaster
Education Technology Services Department
Michael Simmons not only maintains the Greenville County Schools website, but also assists school webmasters with their sites.  He willingly spends extra time training them.  His patience is unending and his competence is superior.  Michael’s vision for all schools to use Dynamic Web Design has helped school webmasters develop and maintain their sites more easily.  He redesigned the district website with the Communications Department last year to make it more user-friendly, logical, and intuitive.

Assistant School Administrator of the Year

Terri Wheeler-Hawkins, Assistant Principal
Oakview Elementary School
Mrs. Wheeler-Hawkins consistently focuses on student achievement and always asks, “What is best for our students?”  She leads by example and can often be found working with individual students to complete an assignment, modeling a lesson for a new teacher, or meeting with parents and teachers. She developed the Morning Tutoring Program to pair younger students with fifth grade mentors to build their reading and writing skills. According to one student, “You learn better, it helps with tests, and it is fun!” Terri’s commitment to excellence has established a vision for the academic and emotional growth of students who participate in the program.

School Administrator of the Year

Brenda Byrd, Principal
Bethel Elementary School
This outstanding principal encourages her students and staff to do their personal best.  Brenda maintains an open-door policy and is an energetic mentor for first-year principals.  Brenda has greatly impacted the Bethel community by establishing monthly data team meetings for teachers to use data to improve instructional practices.  One of her most well-received efforts was adding the Culinary Creations menu and incorporating healthy foods at school events.  She encourages teachers to infuse movement into instruction and classroom celebrations. Striving to do the right thing for students, staff, and parents is a top priority for her.


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