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In this week’s article, I would like to take time to highlight a recognition program that recently occurred.  On Wednesday night, we had the privilege of recognizing four ROCORI staff members at the Educational Support Staff of Excellence program at the Convention Center in St. Cloud.  The program was hosted by Resource Training and Solutions on behalf of the regional schools making up the cooperative.



Irene Worm, Scott Wellnitz, Shannon Molitor, and Theresa Dingman were honored as ROCORI Support Staff of Excellence at the event.

Irene Worm was selected to represent the food service staff.  Irene is the head cook at the Richmond Elementary School site.  She has taken on additional responsibility in coordinating the food service process for the Rockville and DEF (serving St. Boniface) sites.  She has been a positive influence as she goes about these duties!

Scott Wellnitz was chosen from among our custodial, maintenance, and grounds-keeping staff.  Scott was recognized for his consistent, efficient and thorough efforts at his site and his willingness to help across the district whenever he is needed.  He has also helped to orient custodial staff at the Richmond site to their roles and responsibilities.

Shannon Molitor represented the clerical and office staff across the district.  Shannon was nominated for her work at the middle level of the district.  She has provided excellent district support in working with testing and organizational information, she has provided stability and assistance through the many changes at the middle school, and is willing to help wherever she is needed.

Theresa Dingmann was selected from the paraprofessional  employees.  Theresa has been, over the last couple years, at the secondary media center following considerable time as an educational assistant at the elementary level.  Theresa’s knowledge, experience, and approach have provided high levels of assistance to students at the media center.  Her skills allow her to offer excellent insight to students and organizational help to the library.

Congratulations to the ROCORI recipients.



The Educational Support Staff of Excellence program was initiated at the urging of St. Cloud area school districts.  It was seen as a means of formally honoring the work of the many people needed to make schools function effectively. 

The awards are intended to recognize any staff members who do not hold teaching licenses but in some fashion still help fulfill the mission of our schools.  The actual selection process for the awards is based on decision-making processes within each school district.  The process is built around specific criteria for nominees.

Rob Cavanna, Executive Director of Resource Training and Solutions, explained at the awards program that this event is the only one of its kind in the state of Minnesota.  It was my privilege to serve on the superintendent committee that helped Resource Training and Solutions develop the awards program! 



As the award program was developed, a set of criteria was developed to help districts determine how to identify and select candidates. 

High standards of performance, quality character and expectations, good stewardship, and making a difference for students on a regular basis are key elements making up the qualities of nominees for this recognition. 

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.



Although only Irene Worm was able to physically attend the recognition program on Wednesday night, that does not diminish the award or the meaning behind it!  Each of our nominees is deserving of the recognition and has done an excellent job in the district.  Congratulations to the ROCORI Support Staff of Excellence award winners!