Submitted by brian on



April is a month during which the ROCORI School District takes time to recognize and honor the work of our support staff.  During this week, several members of the school staff will be recognized for their hard work and dedication within the district.



We have recently implemented a different structure for the support staff awards.  We have organized groups of employees with similar roles or duties for the recognition program.  In order to provide a balanced representation of all employees in the district, the groups may include several different roles, but we believe they are somewhat similar in nature. 

We also develop a schedule to recognize and honor each of the support staff employee groups within the district.  On Monday, April 21, we recognize those serving in Food Service and as part of the Kitchen Staff.  On Tuesday, April 22, we honor those in roles in Maintenance, Custodians and Cleaners.  In conjunction with national Administrative Assistants Day, we use Wednesday, April 23rd to recognize those serving in Clerical and Secretarial roles.  On Thursday, April 24th, we honor our Paraprofessionals and employees in the Health Services.



Bob Mertes, custodian at the secondary site, was chosen as the Maintenance and Custodial Staff Member of Excellence.  Bob typically works our evening shift at the high school with considerable experience assisting the theater programs, with community events, and working many different events.

Lori Folwarski, lunch room assistant at the secondary site, received the recognition in the Food Service group.  Lori is responsible for some of the food service financial records, point of sale service, and working with students on their accounts.  Lori also works with after school programming through the Drop-In Center.

In the Clerical and Secretarial group, District Office Executive Assistant Barb Fuchs was named our Support Staff of Excellence recipient.  Barb is the secretary for the School Board, is the first point of contact with District Office staff and is the direct assistant to the superintendent.

In the Paraprofessional and Health Services area, Patricia Ayala, was selected for the honor.  Although Patricia’s role has changed during the course of the year, she has served as a paraprofessional in the English language learners program.  The role has evolved into service as multicultural liaison, which became a formal district position in late winter.



There is a list of specific criteria used to nominate employees for the awards.  One of the critical criteria is that they cannot hold a certified or licensed position in order to be considered—it truly has to be a support staff role! The criteria for selecting honorees included the following standards:

·The nominee must be a non-licensed educator

·Has a thorough knowledge of work responsibilities, demonstrates safety for self and others, and cultivates respect for resources and facilities.

·Portrays a positive role model for students, staff, and the community.

·Is an exemplary staff member who recognizes students, peers and colleagues as individuals and who shows genuine respect and concern for others.

·Seeks to improve personally and professionally.

·Is making a difference every day in the lives of students, staff, and their community.



Congratulations to each of these employees!  Our recipients will be recognized, not only in our district this spring, but also at a gathering next September organized by Resource Training and Solutions. The regional recognition banquet brings together schools and support staff honorees from across Central Minnesota.