By Kim West
The ESPYs are best known for honoring top athletic achievements through ESPN’s annual awards show, but Limestone’s version also recognizes outstanding performers.
The Limestone County Schools edition is the inaugural Educational Support Person of the Year program, which highlights high-performing support personnel throughout the school system.
During Thursday night’s ESPY awards at the Career Technical Center, the Central Office presented plaques to each of the 13 school winners and top three departmental employees.
Division winners were Allena Fogg, Brandi Ball, Kathy Watkins, Paula Hand, Jennifer Persall, Jean Laxson, Marilyn Poarch, Lisa Watkins, Vicki Craig, Angie Vanhoozer, Charlotte McMullins, Marsha Ryan, Sandy Thomas, Karen Burchfield, Jim Bennett and Angela Garner.
In the local school division, Ardmore High School technical specialist Allena Fogg was named a district winner, while Central Office information technology secretary Karen Burchfield was tabbed as the top departmental support employee.
Both Fogg and Burchfield have been full-time employees with the school system for the past 10 years, and each began working for the system as substitute teachers.
Fogg, who moonlights as a volunteer photographer at sporting events and school activities, has a degree in finance and management information systems from Alabama-Huntsville and is an Ardmore graduate.
“I am thankful to have this position as it gives me many opportunities to share a smile and be of help to others, as well as be the recipient of kindness and appreciation,” said Fogg. “Students and staff alike have a deep concern for the well-being of each other. I must stay that I am most pleased to be a part of the Ardmore High School family.”
Burchfield previously worked with preschool and day care children before graduating from Calhoun Community College with a degree in early childhood education.
During her acceptance speech, Burchfield praised the district’s “great leadership” and the continuing efforts by her “well-worthy” peers to reach children.
“I can say I’ve seen many support people, from bus drivers and custodians to instructional aides and cafeteria workers, reach across many times to students,” Burchfield said. “It’s been a pleasure and honor to work for the Central Office, and it’s given me a broader perspective of our district.
“We really are working, and It’s really about the children. I think we have great people serving the district.”
More than 100 people attended the awards banquet and dinner, which was served and prepared by students in Sheila Lightfoot’s culinary arts program at the Career Technical Center.
Student volunteers were Madelyn Oliver, Jessika Seward and Josh Kowalski of East Limestone, Ashley Adams, Angeles Rodriguez and Diana Lagunas of Clements, Keiry Leyva of Tanner and Brianna Clements of Elkmont.
The main course featured an entrée of imperial baked chicken with Parmesan cheese breading drizzled with garlic lemon butter and sprinkled with paprika. The sides were mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a homemade dinner roll. Dessert was freshly prepared banana pudding or a nutty chocolate sundae pudding.