By Kim West
School officials honored the people behind the scenes as 16 employees received recognition during Thursday’s 2nd Education Support Person of the Year banquet at the Limestone County Career Technical Center.
Gina Schrimsher, a guidance counselor’s assistant at Creekside Elementary School, won the ESPY for school employees, while Barbara Gregg, representing the central office and textbook warehouse, took home the honor for departmental workers.
Limestone school Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk delivered the keynote address, thanking personnel ranging from bus drivers and school nurses to custodians and office workers.
Sisk thanked the support staffers for knowing “it’s not about a paycheck. It’s not about a job. It’s about taking care of kids.”
“I’ve seen custodians get down on their knees to tie the shoes of a kindergarten child. I’ve seen bus drivers calm an upset child. I’ve seen ladies in our office — and gentleman — helping them find that lost book,” he said. “I see caring about kids. And that’s why this is such an important celebration.”
After sharing a self-deprecating anecdote about kite-flying with a student during Thursday’s Groundwater Festival, Sisk urged employees to choose to make each day productive by releasing themselves “from the burden of what needs to be done by actually getting it done.”
Love the Bus & student volunteers
Transportation Director Darryl Adams cracked up the crowd with a few one-liners before honoring East Limestone High School bus driver Mary Jane Bates as the system’s nominee for the statewide Love the Bus contest.
Career Tech culinary arts students taught by Sheila Lightfoot catered the banquet, plating imperial chicken with a spiced apple ring, made-from-scratch mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, green beans and Sun-Drop cake for dessert.
Kayla Schrimsher, Stacey Green, Josh Kowalski, Haley Shoulders, Beatriz Rodriguez, Bradley Bright, Lacey Smith, Jada Cosby, Jennifer Mendoza and Cody Jones served as volunteer servers and cooks.
Full list of winners
Last year’s ESPY recipients, Ardmore High School technology specialist Allena Fogg, and central office tech secretary Karen Burchfield, presented plaques to the school and departmental winners.
Listed below are this year’s winners:
• Faye Towe, Career Technical Center
• Bobby Redus, Blue Springs Elementary
• Debbie Vining, Ardmore High
• Peggy Pressnell, Cedar Hill Elementary
• James Yarbrough, Clements High
• Gina Schrimsher, Creekside Elementary
• Tommy Baugher, East Limestone High
• Linda Smith, Elkmont High
* Sheila Travis, Johnson Elementary
• Leigh Fierro, Owens Elementary
• Sherry Lannom, Piney Chapel Elementary
* Janice Keenum, Tanner High
• Ina Holland, West Limestone High
• Debbie Blakely, bus driver
• Brian Anderson, maintenance/transportation
• Barbara Gregg, central office and textbook warehouse.