Celebrating 2020 Employees of the Year
Greenville County Schools and Greenville Federal Credit Union have announced the recipients of the 2020 Greenville County Schools Employee of the Year Awards. The announcements were made this week through surprise Zoom visits from Superintendent Burke Royster.
Winners were selected in six categories: School Support, District Support, Operations, Assistant School Administrator, School Administrator, and District Professional. Each award winner will receive $500 cash and a special award commissioned by Greenville Federal Credit Union. Their school or department will also receive $500 cash so all employees can share in the honor.
School Support Employee of the Year
Blair Haag, Instructional Coach, Greenville High Academy
Mrs. Haag is driven to help make teachers’ jobs easier. In anticipation of Chromebooks for all students, she planned a professional development program to train teachers on using Google Classroom and Google Apps. She designs post cards that teachers can send to parents with updates on their child’s progress. She is actively involved in the school’s Spirit Week and organizes football recruiting efforts. Mrs. Haag assists Student Council with Spirit Week, provides support for the PTSA and Booster Club, and has reimagined the SIC Report to the Community that has resulted in multiple state awards.
District Support Employee of the Year
Lacey Cobb, Secretary for Associate Superintendent of Operations, Central Office
From her first day on the job three years ago, Lacey Cobb’s engaging and outgoing personality makes everyone want to be around her. Her attention to detail, efficiency, and thoroughness make her an excellent asset for Greenville County Schools. She has provided positive improvements in the Administrative Pool selection process, and she is instrumental on the District Emergency Response Team, Inclement Weather Response Team, and developing processes for field trips.
Operations Employee of the Year
Joe Urban, Director, Food and Nutrition Services
Joe Urban reimagined the GCS school lunch program by implementing the preparation of healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering exceptional customer service. Urban trained his food service staff of 750 to make meals from scratch, to involve students in meal planning, and to expose students to careers in food services. Most recently, Mr. Urban has led the distribution efforts of more than one million meals to students throughout the county during COVID-19. Both Urban and the Food and Nutrition Services department have been recognized for providing some of the highest quality and nutritious school food in the country.
Assistant School Administrator of the Year
Kelly Sanderson, Assistant Principal, Greenville High Academy
As eleventh grade school administrator, Mrs. Sanderson’s positivity is infectious not only to her students and teachers, but to everyone at Greenville High Academy. She sends home postcards and puts goodies in staff boxes as tokens of appreciation. As Seat Time Recovery coordinator, she developed a reporting procedure that more easily communicated students’ needs to teachers, parents, and students. She ensures substitutes get a treat when they check in, and thanks them when they leave.
School Administrator of the Year
Damon Qualls, Principal, Monaview Elementary
Teachers enjoy coming to work at Monaview Elementary School because of the positive culture Mr. Qualls has created. His ideas include staff spirit days, $100 giveaways on the 100th day of school, personalized cards, and emails that say “I appreciate you.” Even the school building has been transformed, with the addition of colorful paint, mirrors on the hallways, and Monaview Lion artwork. His emphasis on literacy has made a difference through the development of a Men Who Read program. Through open communication, teachers are moving academics forward as evidenced by the school’s Excellent Report Card rating.
District Professional Employee of the Year
Jeff McCoy, Associate Superintendent for Academics, Central Office
Jeff McCoy has been described as a visionary who has moved student achievement forward. He implemented the rollout of Chromebooks to all students in grades 3 through 12. He works daily to ensure that every student is treated fairly, from books that are read in the first grade to making sure a high school senior meets graduation requirements. Mr. McCoy’s vision can be easily described in the district’s implementation of eLearning as a result of COVID-19. The sudden change from face-to-face learning to learning at home brought about challenges for continuous and effective student learning. Thanks to Mr. McCoy’s countless hours to create and roll out an eLearning platform and provide supports for students and parents, GCS is completely changing the way we teach.