Support Staff Member of the Year
Picking this year’s Support Staff Member of the Year may have been one of the easiest decisions that we made this summer. We were overwhelmed by the number of nominations that this individual received. More importantly, we were especially overwhelmed by the content of those nominations. One person described our recipient as a ray of sunshine to those around him, including students. A common theme in the nominations is his ability to build positive relationships with his students. He genuinely cares for the students that he serves, and he makes sure that they know he cares about them. He takes the time to get to know them, and it is evident that he works very hard to create an environment for them that is safe, both physically and emotionally. Our recipient has the unique opportunity to be the first and last point of contact each and every day for the students that he serves, and he takes full advantage of the opportunity to help students start and finish their school day on a positive note. He has been quoted as saying, “It is a personal honor to serve the children and families of this district. I am the first contact that kids have on the way to the school in the morning. I get the opportunity to start their day on a positive note. I get another opportunity later on to also end their day on a positive note.” A staff member said, “The students rave about him and how much they enjoy riding his bus. There are many students who don’t have to ride the bus to school, but WANT to ride the bus because of him and the relationships he has built with them.” In addition to directly impacting students each and every day on the bus, he impacts them indirectly by volunteering time in our schools putting up bulletin boards, hanging posters, making bookshelves, and serving on our district’s Community Diversity Alliance. The most touching praise about this individual came from one of his students that took the time to email me on Christmas Eve last year. She wrote, “I have a shuttle bus driver who at the end of every week reminds us how happy we make him and thanks us for being such good kids and for making him so happy. He often reminds us how much he loves what he does and how much he loves seeing our faces every day. You’ll never see him not smiling. There isn’t one kid on our bus who doesn’t leave smiling because of him! After long hard weeks he reminds us how amazing each and every one of us are and it makes all of us happy! He’s a great bus driver and in all honesty I’ve never had such an amazing bus driver!” It doesn’t get much better than that. Congratulations, Mr. Jeff Stegman.