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District Five launches Support Enrichment program

IRMO, SC – The many helping hands of support employees across School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties leave a lasting impact. Every school runs smoothly thanks to the hard work and dedication of a team of staff members. Support employees fill a wide variety of roles including media assistants, social workers, custodians, nurses, teacher assistants, computer lab assistants, student nutrition workers, secretaries, and more. Each plays an important part in facilitating teaching and learning. District Five hosted the first annual Support Enrichment day on February 20 to recognize support employees and show appreciation for everything they do.

In attendance at the baseball-themed program, called the All-Star Support Staff Day, were the 2016-2017 Support Employees of the Year from each school. The District Five Foundation sponsored the event and attendees participated in team building activities throughout the day. To start a ripple effect of positivity, everyone wrote letters to two people who inspire them at work. Dutch Fork Middle School Media Assistant Kimberly Morris said, “It was great having the Support Employees of the Year from every school come together to celebrate what we work towards every day in District Five.”

Support Enrichment was initiated by the district’s Support Advisory Council, which is composed of up to four representatives from each school. Allison Redick, a Career Specialist at Irmo Middle School and a previous Support Employee of the Year, was the Planning Team Chair. “Support staff employees play a vital role in education,” said Redick. “It's very important for support staff to receive enrichment experiences to gain knowledge and skills related to our positions, so that we continue to provide the outstanding service which leads to excellent educational experiences for our students.”

This pilot program launches Support Enrichment for upcoming years. Support Enrichment days will offer support employees the opportunity to meet with staff from other schools, share experiences, and learn together. It will be similar to the Professional Development days that are offered two to three times per year for certified staff.

“I think as an annual event this would be very helpful to everyone in the district,” explained Seven Oaks Elementary Facilities Supervisor, Larry Payne, the 2016-2017 District Support Employee of the Year. “We’re learning how we can help students, how we can help each other to make our daily lives better and work together as a team.”

Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Allison Jacques spoke on the value of teamwork and the difference that a single person can make. She said, “Every time you walk up to the plate, every time you walk into your school, every day we know that you go in trying to hit that homerun. It’s just that you don’t always realize that you’ve done it! But we see those homeruns every day and we thank you, we appreciate you.”

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