April is a month during which the ROCORI School District takes time to recognize and honor the work of our support staff.  Last Monday marked the beginning of Support Staff Week in the ROCORI School District.  During this past week, several members of the school staff were recognized for their hard work and dedication within the district.



A few years ago, we 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. 

Each day we honor a particular group of support staff that help make the building a great place for our students and staff. On Monday, April 24, we recognized those serving in Food Service and as part of the Kitchen Staff.  On Tuesday, April 25, we honored those in roles in Maintenance, Custodians and Cleaners.  In conjunction with national Administrative Assistants Day, we used Wednesday, April 26, to recognize those serving in Clerical and Secretarial roles.  On Thursday, April 27, we honored our Paraprofessionals and employees in the Health Services.



We received a strong list of nominations across the district for the Support Staff Awards!  It is my pleasure to note that the following members have been selected as the recipients of the awards:

Representing the Kitchen Staff:  Bonnie Schmitt.  Bonnie works at the Secondary site.  She was selected for her excellent interactions with students as she serves in the breakfast program and the graceful manner in which she carries out her work.  Bonnie visits with students as they pass by the breakfast cart, engages them as they make their selections, and has a positive approach to her work!

Representing the Custodians and Cleaners:  Doris Faber.  Doris serves as the Head Custodian at the Cold Spring Elementary Site.  Doris was noted for her consistency, knowledge, positive approach, and overall leadership within the building.  She is a very strong advocate for students as she goes about her work, demonstrates enthusiasm and joy in her work, and offers support wherever she is needed.

Representing the Clerical, Secretaries, Program Managers:  Kayla Youngblom.  Kayla is assigned to district-wide duties as the administrative assistant in the academic offices.  Kayla’s energy, enthusiasm, and excitement for the work she does was highlighted along with her willingness to serve in any capacity as needed.  Kayla always seems to have a smile as she carries out her work and truly enjoys her position in the ROCORI Schools!

Representing Paraprofessionals and Health Service:  Nancy Swanson.  Nancy works with special education students at the Secondary site.  She was selected for her dedicated service to students through the years as well as the patience and quiet resolve she demonstrates in working with some of the students with significant needs and challenges.  Nancy is a consistent and calm influence on the students and staff around her.



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.