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District Five announces 2017-18 Support Employee of the Year finalists

IRMO- Lexington-Richland School District Five has named finalists for its 2017-2018 Support Employee of the Year award. The finalists are: Mary Ann Bacon, 4K child development assistant at Irmo Elementary School; Catrinia Jones, media assistant at H. E. Corley Elementary School; and Christina Smith-Galloway, clerical assistant at Leaphart Elementary School. The district Support Employee of the Year will be named on May 10.

District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner said, “We have a fantastic team in District Five. Our support employees are an important part of our success. Everywhere I go in the district, I see hard working staff dedicated to the success of our students!”

Bacon has spent 19 years serving in District Five. She received a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University in elementary education. Bacon believes the most important part of her job at Irmo Elementary is building relationships with her students every day, sparking their curiosity and helping them develop a love of learning in a safe and nurturing environment.

“My goal is to help each child reach their fullest potential and give them a strong social and educational foundation,” Bacon said. “It is important that they trust and know that I care about them. Every day is a blessing and opportunity to teach, touch a heart and make a difference.”

Jones has been in District Five for three years and obtained a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ashford University. As a Leader in Me school, H. E. Corley and Jones have instilled a “7 Habits” system that teaches students how to be successful. The “7 Habits” are: 1. You’re in Charge 2. Have a Plan 3. Work First, Then Play 4. Everyone Can Win 5. Listen Before You Talk 6. Together is Better 7. Balance Feels Best.

“Much like how we need each habit to be successful as a school, I believe each part of my job is important in the success of my job,” Jones said. “I hope that by gathering the technology or books needed for a class lesson, a teacher feels supported and better prepared. I hope that any child that comes into the media center leaves excited to read and confident that they are becoming a stronger reader. We are a team here at H. E. Corley, and working together is so important to my job.”

Smith-Galloway has spent three years in District Five. She received a bachelor’s degree from Winthrop University in psychology and sociology. She also received a master’s degree in education, teaching and learning from Liberty University. Smith-Galloway has played an important role in helping families transition to Leaphart Elementary by listening and learning to what each family needs for their student.

“When parents and students enter Leaphart, my smile is one of the first smiles they will see,” Smith-Galloway said. “Therefore, I think that the most important part of my job as registrar is to build positive relationships with parents and students. As those relationships are strengthened, mutually positive and respectful partnerships in the classroom, school and community are built.”

Support Employees of the Year from District Five include: Keith Major (Academy for Success), Angela Beasley (Ballentine Elementary), Cellustine Benson (Center for Advanced Technical Studies), Alyssa Hood (Chapin Elementary), Diane Arnold (Chapin High), Tina Carwell (Chapin Intermediate), Ginny Sightler (Chapin Middle), Jennifer Kirkley (CrossRoads Intermediate), Jason Lockman (District Office), Randy Epting (Dutch Fork Elementary), Theresa Hicks (Dutch Fork High), Kaye Barr Leysath (Dutch Fork Middle), Artena Starks (Harbison West Elementary), Peggy Boggess (Irmo High), Leisa McNeil (Irmo Middle), Billy Drafts (Lake Murray Elementary), Wendy Geiger (Nursery Road Elementary), Linh Truong (Oak Pointe Elementary), Tia Mills (River Springs Elementary), Kelli Thielbar (Seven Oaks Elementary), Bobby Stanley (Spring Hill High) and Penny Mayall (Bus Driver of the Year).

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