GRANDVIEW - It was an evening of laughter and recognition, mixed with a few emotional speeches and, yes, maybe a tear or two.
Last night, the Grandview School Board hosted the 2011 Employee of the Year Recognition Awards, where 13 Grandview School District employees were recognized for their hard work and determination in making the 2010-11 school the best ever.
Administrator of the Year went to Julie Wysong, Harriet Thompson Elementary School Principal. Wysong has been with the district for 16 years and Superintendent Kevin Chase said she has been instrumental in creating an academic culture within the elementary school.
Supervisor of the Year went to Dale Fleischbein, the transportation department's supervisor. Fleischbein has been with the district for five years.
Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Brad Shreeve said Fleischbein is "firm, fair and consistent, and truly takes pride in his job."
Ray Sharpe was given the award for classified support staff. Sharpe is the district's computer and phone system technician. Shreeve said Sharpe had been with the district for 14 years and had watched the computers in the district grow from 100 to over 1,000.
This is Sharpe's last year with the district.
Bus driver Annie Adamson was given an award by Fleischbein, who said Adamson is "truly a treat to have on my team." He went on to describe her as versatile and proactive, and someone who always treats others with dignity and respect.
Adamson has been with the district for three years.
Cheryl Hauver was honored for her work as a paraprofessional. Hauver works with high risk youth at the high school. Grandview High School Principal Mike Closner quoted a student when talking about Hauver, whom he says holds high expectations for all her students.
Hauver has been with the district for nearly 15 years.
Grace Howe earned her second award for her work as head cook in the district's central kitchen. Howe has worked for the district for 28 years.
Jane Graf from Compass High School was recognized as secondary teacher of the year. Graf works with students who are most at risk. She has been with the district for 15 years.
Lenor Aguilar was recognized for her work with the special education department and speech services. Aguilar is a secretary who has worked for the district for 15 years.
Aguilar will retire at the end of the year.
School psychologist Ginger Francis was recognized with the certificated support staff of the year award. Francis has been with the district for eight years but enjoyed a 35-year career in education. She will also retire at the end of the school year.
Third grade teacher Amy Davis from Harriet Thompson was given an elementary teacher award. Wysong praised Davis and said, "Everything she does in our building is because students are number one in her heart."
Davis has been with the district for 16 years.
Also from Harriet Thompson, Desirae Mendez, a night custodian, was recognized for her work. Mendez was not present at the board meeting, but her absence was attributed to her hard work and dedication to keep the schools in their best condition.
Anne Holden from McClure Elementary School received recognition for her work as a fifth grade teacher and coach. Holden had students and several athletes there to support her and cheer her on as she received her award.
Holden has been with the district for 21 years and said of her work, "It's the only job I ever want to do."
Finally, volunteer of the year honors went to Julie Soria, who has been volunteering with Harriet Thompson Elementary students for five years. She also recently began volunteering at Grandview Middle School.