October 15, 2015 at 1:41 p.m.
In its fifth year, the event has grown each year. This year 113 people were honored from 28 school districts. The event honors those who work as bus drivers, custodians, cooks, paraprofessionals and other staff who help keep schools running smoothly.
“Throughout my career I have been a teacher, principal and superintendent. In all these roles, I have found our support staff to be the people that keep our school districts grounded, and in many respects are the heart and souls of our schools,” said Mark Schmitz, Executive Director of Resource Training & Solutions.
The presiding superintendent for the evening was Dr. Dan Bittman, from Sauk Rapids-Rice School District. Dr. Bittman said, “On behalf of the superintendents in our Region, I want to recognize and celebrate tonight’s honorees. It is my impression that support staff demonstrate the following attributes: They: show up, are responsible, follow through and don’t demand credit.”
The keynote address was presented by Willow Sweeney who stated that the value of each day is enormous. “If you decide to dwell in negativity you are giving away a perfectly good day. And, no one knows when we are going to have our last day.”
Ken Anderson, Resource Board of Director chairperson, referred to the honorees as the backbone of a school. “You are important to staff, parents and the communities where you live,” he added.
Awardees are nominated from within their school districts.
They receive a plaque and a certificate signed by the Governor of Minnesota
“I can think back to so many instances where the support staff in the buildings I worked in went way above and beyond. As a teacher in Silver Lake, the lunchroom supervisor would send kids back to their table to eat a couple more scoop of vegetables or finish their sandwich. She served as the mom factor in the lunchroom to help assure students were eating healthy,” said Schmitz. “She is an example of all the support staff who go the extra step to care about the children in our schools,” said Schmitz. “It is my honor to stand before you tonight in recognition of all you to. Thank You!”
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