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District STARS Honored At Aiken County Public Schools Annual Employee Recognition Event

DISTRICT STARS HONORED AT AIKEN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANNUAL EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION EVENT

During a banquet held at Aiken High School on Thursday, March 21, the District recognized its STARS of Public Education. Aiken County Public Schools’ annual employee recognition celebration has expanded over the years from an event to celebrate each school’s Teacher of the Year and name a District winner, to a comprehensive recognition program designed to honor educators as well as other star employees including those in support, supervisory, and professional roles. 

“This evening and this tradition of celebrating educators is one of my favorite nights of the year,” 老澳门开奖直播 Superintendent King Laurence shared. “All employees supporting one another and appreciating each other’s contributions to our shared work makes tonight beautiful.” 

The Stars of Public Education event celebrates the best and the brightest throughout the district in seven categories, including the GEM (Giving Even More) of the Year, Professional Staff Member of the Year, District Level Administrator of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year, Principal of the Year, First Year Teacher of the Year, and Teacher of the Year. School and department-level stars were honored during the March 21 event, and Honor Courts were celebrated for each employee recognition category before District winners were announced.

Each Honor Court member received a special plaque as a symbol of their accomplishments. Through generous sponsorship support, district winners also received a monetary award and a specially selected trophy along with a gold ring to celebrate their honor courtesy of Jostens Rhodes Graduation Services’ Platinum Sponsorship. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, this year’s Presenting Sponsor, allowed for a beautiful and memorable evening for all. Financial and in-kind resources from the Special Section in the Aiken Standard to Panera Bread free dessert cards for each winner and nominee are among some of the contributions community businesses dedicated to celebrating our STARS of Public Education. Additional major sponsors included Bridgestone, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, H.G. Reynolds Construction Engineers, and SRP Federal Credit Union as Gold Sponsors.

NAMING 2023-2024 STARS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

After guests celebrated nominees through a slideshow featuring nominees and winners from every school and department for each category over dinner, Ms. Merry Glenne Piccolino, Director of Communications and Community Partnerships, continued the program with recognition of the GEM of the Year Honor Court.

GEM OF THE YEAR AWARD

The 2024-2025 GEM of the Year Award Honor Court included:

•    Bonnie Gibbons, Secretary/Bookkeeper, Kennedy Middle School;
•    Susan Adams, Media Aide, Millbrook Elementary School;
•    Derrick Rouse, Custodian, Mossy Creek Elementary School;
•    Tammy Posey, Parent Involvement Aide/Secretary, North Aiken Elementary School; and
•    Tanja Brammer, Instructional Aide, Paul Knox Middle School.

“The winner of our District GEM of the Year award is described as someone who is patient and empathetic, always finding positivity in what they do and providing hope to students each day,” Piccolino shared. “Join me in congratulating our 2024-2025 GEM of the Year winner, Ms. Tanja Brammer.”

老澳门开奖直播’s GEM was quickly surrounded by several family members and friends who had been invited to surprise her. 

 
PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Tray Traxler, the District’s Chief Financial Officer, welcomed to the stage the 2024-2025 Professional Staff Member of the Year Award Honor Court which included:

•    Ashlee O’Neal, Instructional Technology Support Specialist, Instructional Services;
•    April Slack, Middle Level Math Support Specialist, Instructional Services;
   Monica Wells, School Nurse, North Aiken Elementary School;
•    Tina Streubel, School Nurse, Paul Knox Middle School; and
•    Mungera Cash, School Psychologist, Special Programs.

“Our District Professional Staff Member of the has shared that advocacy and connecting students to resources is her favorite thing, and her work reflects her passion,” Traxler shared as he announced and congratulated the winner, Mrs. Monica Wells.

Just like the newly-named GEM of the Year, Wells and all other District winners that followed quickly found themselves surrounded by their loved ones who had been hidden backstage as they awaited the surprise and celebration.

DISTRICT LEVEL ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Jennifer Hart, the District’s Chief Officer of Administration and Human Resources, introduced the District Level Administrator of the Year Award Honor Court.

The District Level Administrator of the Year Award Honor Court included:
•    Dustin Fowler, Virtual Learning Coordinator, Aiken iNNOVATE;
•    Berkeley Postell, Assistant Superintendent of High Schools, Division of Instruction; and
•    Carl White, Director of Student Services, Division of Operations and Student Services. 

“The winner of our District Level Administrator of the Year award is described as an authentic and caring leader who possesses the experience and expertise to handle a myriad of high-pressure situations that are almost a daily presence in a large school district,” Hart shared before congratulating the 2024-2025 District Level Administrator of the Year winner, Mr. Carl White. 

 
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR AWARD

Dr. Salvatore Minolfo was honored to recognize administrators he supports through his role as the District’s Director of Administration for their dedication to shaping the academic successes of students and cultivating leadership in their buildings.

The Assistant Principal of the Year Award Honor Court included:

•    Suman Marks-Johnson, Assistant Principal, Aiken County Career & Technology Center;
•    Anna Beth Harbeson, Assistant Principal, Belvedere Elementary School; and
•    Karen Fiery, Assistant Principal, Busbee Elementary School.

“Our District Assistant Principal of the Year winner is described as someone who has devoted her career and life to her students, giving every ounce of herself to make her school the best it can be,” Dr. Minolfo shared as he announced the winner for District Assistant Principal of the Year, Ms. Karen Fiery.    

 
PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR AWARD

Dr. Amy Edwards, the district’s Chief Officer of Instruction, welcomed to the stage the 2024-2025 Principal of the Year Award Honor Court which included:

•    Michelle Padgett, Principal, Graniteville Elementary School;
•    Sheldon Higgenbottom, Principal, Midland Valley High School; and
•    Shunte Dugar, Principal, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School.

“Our District Principal of the Year award-winner is described as a mentor principal who consistently exemplifies the qualities of a true servant leader both personally and professionally,” Dr. Edwards shared before congratulating the 2024-2025 Principal of the Year winner, Mrs. Michelle Padgett. 


FIRST YEAR TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Christen Sikes was honored to celebrate the many exceptionally skillful and dedicated new educators she supports through her role as the District’s Educator Effectiveness Coordinator.

The First Year Teacher of the Year Award Honor Court included:
•    Heather Moore, 5th Grade Teacher, Aiken Elementary School;
•    Jordan Fernandes, 2nd Grade Teacher, Belvedere Elementary School;
•    Adam Taylor Eubanks, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Mossy Creek Elementary School;
•    Chesney Gardner, 4th Grade Teacher, North Augusta Elementary School; and
   Meghan Barrett, Band Teacher, North Augusta Middle School.

“The winner of our First Year Teacher of the Year award is described as with unwavering focus on individual needs of each student, employing diverse teaching strategies to accommodate different learning styles and fostering a positive and inclusive atmosphere in the classroom,” Sikes shared before announcing the 2024-2025 First Year Teacher of the Year winner, Ms. Meghan Barrett.

 
TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD

District Superintendent King Laurence welcomed the final group of honorees to the stage as he recognized the 2024-2025 Teacher of the Year Award Honor Court which included:

•    Parrish Deans, Physical Education Teacher, A.L. Corbett Middle School;
   Philip Sirk, Social Studies Teacher, Jackson STEM Magnet Middle School;
•    Wanda Bush, Spanish Teacher, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School;
•    Carolyn Anderson, Spanish Teacher, Schofield Middle School; and
•    Christy Clemmer, Social Studies Teacher, South Aiken High School.

“Our District Teacher of the Year winner is described as someone who has an excellent rapport with students and ensures students experience success by challenging their abilities to encourage as much growth and development as possible,” Superintendent Laurence shared as he congratulated the winner for District Teacher of the Year, Mr. Philip Sirk.  

 

STARS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION SCHOOL AND DEPARTMENT-LEVEL WINNERS AND NOMINEES

Congratulations STARS of Public Education winners, as well as nominees in each category.

GEM OF THE YEAR
Dorothy Landy, A.L. Corbett Middle School
Michelle Bush, Aiken County Career & Technology Center
Tammy Bell, Aiken Elementary School
Jody Morgan, Aiken High School
Shephone Ryan, Aiken Intermediate School
Cathey Ferrell, Belvedere Elementary School
Edith Walker-Reed, Busbee Elementary School
Keisha Jackson, Business Services
Marilyn Abellan, Byrd Elementary School
Hope Platt, Center for Innovative Learning
Brook Byers, Chukker Creek Elementary School
Connie Bell, Clearwater Elementary School
Kimberly Pollina, East Aiken School of the Arts
Lynde Ball, Educational Technology
Patricia Young, Gloverville Elementary School
Breannah Cleveland, Graniteville Elementary School
Shirley Hilton, Greendale Elementary School
Debra Townsend, Hammond Hill Elementary School
Debbie Glover, Highland Springs Middle School
Deloris Brown, Human Resources
Rebecca Canalejo, J.D. Lever Elementary School
Teresa Pearson, Jackson STEM Magnet Middle School
Christopher Sims, Jefferson Elementary School
Bonnie Gibbons, Kennedy Middle School
Eugene Eshun Phillips, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School
Michelle McCord, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School
Benjamin Parry, Maintenance Department
Leota Bragg, Midland Valley High School
Susan Adams, Millbrook Elementary School
Derrick Rouse, Mossy Creek Elementary School
James Ingram, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School
Tammy Posey, North Aiken Elementary School
Pamela Faw, North Augusta Elementary School
Katherine Barrett, North Augusta High School
Stephanie Abney, North Augusta Middle School
Angela Taylor, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School
Renee Reynolds, Operations & Student Services
Tanja Brammer, Paul Knox Middle School
Jami  Mims, Redcliffe Elementary School
Pam Layton, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School
Ashley Bradley, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School
Shaunna Hay, Schofield Middle School
Regina Brock, Silver Bluff High School
Rhonda Heath, School Food Service
Doug Bates, Silver Bluff High School
Cynthia Kitchings, South Aiken High School
Sheila Toole-Hinson, Special Programs
Michelle Harris, Transportation
Lorenzo Taylor, Wagener-Salley High School
Tonya Harris, Warrenville Elementary School
Rumona O’Neal, XSEL

PROFESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER OF THE YEAR
Julie Waugh, Attendance Office
Monica Parker, Business Services
Brandan Bedenbaugh, Educational Technology
Nicholas Diehl, Educational Technology
Monica Mazzell, Health & Nursing Services
Morgan Bowe, Instructional Services
Amanda Burnside, Instructional Services
Ashlee O’Neal, Instructional Services
April Slack, Instructional Services 
Abby Messick, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School
Rebecca Sanders, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School
Monica Wells, North Aiken Elementary School
Dana Hyler, North Augusta Middle School
Tina Streubel, Paul Knox Middle School
Jennifer Fulmer, Schofield Middle School
Tammie Alan, Special Programs
Lauren Blackwell, Special Programs
Jennifer Browne, Special Programs
Mungera Cash, Special Programs
Vickie Harby, Special Programs
Katie Johnson, Special Programs
Brittany Zaremba, Special Programs


DISTRICT LEVEL ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR
Dustin Fowler, Aiken iNNOVATE
Salvatore Minolfo, Division of Administration & HR
Brenda DeLoache, Federal Programs
Micki Dove, Division of Instruction 
Berkeley Postell, Division of Instruction
Phyllis Gamble, Division of Instruction
Carl White, Division of Operations & Student Services 


ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR
Suman Marks-Johnson, Aiken County Career & Technology Center
Anna Beth Harbeson, Belvedere Elementary School
Karen Fiery, Busbee Elementary School
Krish Risher, North Augusta High School
Sylvia Gay, North Augusta Middle School
Wendy West, Paul Knox Middle School
Patrick Newsome, Ridge Spring Monetta Elementary School
Miranda Fulmer, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School
Tami Shaffer, South Aiken High School


PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR
Kenneth Lott, Aiken County Career & Technology Center
Jeffery Matthews, Busbee Elementary School
Renae Enlow, Byrd Elementary School
Lisa Fallaw, East Aiken School of the Arts
Michelle Padgett, Graniteville Elementary School
Caroline Barker, Greendale Elementary School
Sheldon Higgenbottom, Midland Valley High School
Shunte Dugar, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School
Elisa Sanders-Pee, North Aiken Elementary School
Casey Rogers, Paul Knox Middle School
Callie Herlong, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School
Sidney Johnson, Schofield Middle School
Samuel Fuller, South Aiken High School

FIRST YEAR TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Heather Moore, Aiken Elementary School
Jordan Fernandes, Belvedere Elementary School
Paige Hall, Byrd Elementary School
Angela Huggins, Chukker Creek Elementary School
Julie Griffin, Clearwater Elementary School
Deanna Jowers, Gloverville Elementary School
Ashley DeFore, Graniteville Elementary School
Holly Sharpe, Greendale Elementary School
Cullen Bishop, Hammond Hill Elementary School
Mills Murphy, Highland Springs Middle School
Madicen Yarnell, J.D. Lever Elementary School
Stephanie England, Jefferson Elementary School
Deanna Cole, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School
Akira Robinson, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School
Florabel Baruc, Midland Valley High School
Adam Taylor Eubanks, Mossy Creek Elementary School
Chesney Gardner, North Augusta Elementary School
Rich Wilson, North Augusta High School
Meghan Barrett, North Augusta Middle School
Ali Stephens, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School
Tracy Charles-Farmer, Redcliffe Elementary School
McKayla Lowman, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School
Connie Quattlebaum, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School
Benjamin Schmitt, Silver Bluff High School
Brittany Hart, South Aiken High School
Mason Isaac, Wagener-Salley High School
Madeline Whitaker, Warrenville Elementary School

TEACHER OF THE YEAR
Parrish Deans, A.L. Corbett Middle School
Joseph Chandler, Aiken County Career & Technology Center
Marian Dean, Aiken Elementary School
Kayla Hostetler, Aiken High School
Leigh Watkins, Aiken iNNOVATE
Cristie Caldwell, Aiken Intermediate School
Amanda Waymer, Aiken Scholars Academy
Heather Shuler Carroll, Belvedere Elementary School
Shannon Cotham, Busbee Elementary School
Jennifer Green, Byrd Elementary School
Sandra Smith, Center for Innovate Learning
Jill Erford, Chukker Creek Elementary School
Tammy Wikander, Clearwater Elementary School
Lori Jordan, East Aiken School of the Arts
Bethany Ross, Gloverville Elementary School
Isabella Isoc, Graniteville Elementary School
Gordon Gaskill, Greendale Elementary School
Jessica Nealious, Hammond Hill Elementary School
Alecia Gullatt, Highland Springs Middle School
Melissa Overcash, Homebound
Stacie Sidwell, J.D. Lever Elementary School
Philip Sirk, Jackson STEM Magnet Middle School
Veronica Smith, Jefferson Elementary School
Meredith Parrott, Kennedy Middle School
Amy Buchkeister, Langley-Bath-Clearwater Middle School
Allison Boggess, Leavelle McCampbell Middle School
Samantha Luzzatti, Midland Valley High School
Amanda Cook, Millbrook Elementary School
Anna Scaggs, Mossy Creek Elementary School
Carrissa Brown, New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School
DeAnn Coursey, North Aiken Elementary School
Brandy Rutland, North Augusta Elementary School
Julio Avila, North Augusta High School
Steven McLeod, North Augusta Middle School
Kim Stokes, Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School
Carrie Albion, Paul Knox Middle School
Michael Baker, Redcliffe Elementary School
Tonya Rodgers, Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School
Wanda Bush, Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle/High School
Carolyn Anderson, Schofield Middle School
Frank Carson, Silver Bluff High School
Christy Clemmer, South Aiken High School
Teresa Johnson, Special Programs
Tasha DaCosta, Wagener-Salley High School
Linzi Sinclair, Warrenville Elementary School
Kim Devine-Reed, XSEL


FULL DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: DISTRICT STARS HONORED AT AIKEN COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS ANNUAL EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION EVENT