Service excellence awards highlight compassion
Compassionate support of students and their families characterizes the work of Brandy Moon and Teresa Dearman, honored with the first Jackson County School System Excellence in Service awards of the new school year.
Moon, food service manager at North Jackson Elementary School, and Dearman, who works with registration and data services at the JCSS central office, were recognized by the Jackson County Board of Education at its meeting Sept. 10 at Gum Springs Elementary School.
Moon ”not only keeps our cafeteria at NJES running as smooth as possible but makes sure each child’s needs are met. … (She) keeps the staff well informed and does anything to help out our needs to make the students’ day run smoothly,” according to the nomination by Chelsey Weeks.
Weeks sounded a theme the award seeks to highlight: “She selflessly takes care of our sweet children,” she wrote.
“Even on a personal level, I have been blessed in a time of need, (off school premises and hours), when she just happened to be there,” Weeks continued.
“She jumped up, without a second thought, to help in an unexpected situation. It is the type of person she is and we are blessed to have her in our school system.”
Dearman garnered similar praise, described as “at once unique and representative of so many people who work for the Jackson County School System,” by her nominator, who chose to remain anonymous.
As a part of the support staff in the JCSS central office, Dearman works with parents of students already in the school system and those transferring in or out; JCSS staff and those with whom the system exchanges records; and others seeking information related to student data.
Dearman “is meticulous and thoughtful in her work, safeguarding what needs to be protected and graciously accommodating all that she can,” according to her nomination, which also cited a special talent for supporting internal events and celebrations.
“But what really sets her apart is her deep concern for children and families,” her nominator wrote, citing “a heart filled with compassion and an eye for the good in people.
“Her willingness to connect with our families is matched only by her determination to do the best she can for each of them. She treats her co-workers and the people she serves with affection and deep regard for their humanity.
“We are blessed to have her among us, and Jackson County is blessed to have her in its service.”
The awards were presented by Dr. Selena Blankenship, JCSS human resources director. Honorees are chosen by a committee of personnel from across the district, and Blankenship said anyone can nominate “a deserving individual or group.”
The award is intended to highlight the “unsung heroes who serve the students and staff of the school system,” often without recognition of any kind, Blankenship said.
The nomination form is available online at www.bit.ly/JCSS_18Excellence; nominators must provide their names and email addresses for verification purposes, but they may choose to remain anonymous when the winners are announced.
School system employees, volunteers, or community partners will be considered “for going above and beyond in service to our school community,” she said.
Nominations should range from 150-300 words and should be submitted by the 25th of each month. The award is presented monthly, and nominations remain active during the school year in which they were submitted.
JCSS serves approximately 8,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in 10 schools across Jackson County.
Find more information online at jacksonschoolsga.org, at Facebook.com/ JacksonCountySchoolSystem, or Twitter.com/JCSchoolSystem.