Congratulations to 15 division employees who have been named winners of the Superintendent’s Star Award for First Semester 2017-18. A recognition reception will be held on Tuesday, February 6 at Creekside Elementary School.
Judges consider initiative, school spirit, creativity, commitment, and attitude to recognize those who are making a real difference in the lives of students.
A total of 15 staff members — out of 69 nominees — were selected as top honorees for the Star Award recognition.
Division-Wide Instructional Staff Award:
Band Teacher at John Yeates Middle School
Division-Wide Support Staff Award:
Tutor for English Language Learners at Northern Shores Elementary School
Andre Paquette was nominated by parent Samantha Linneman, who said he “provides the perfect blend of structure, support, and discipline that kids in a music program need while instilling the work ethic required to be successful.” Paquette was applauded for his willingness to work with individual students beyond school hours as they prepare for district band auditions and school concerts. His nominator said he “teaches all the subjects rolled into one” … teaching math when student musicians figure out rhythm patterns and count out beats per measure… teaching foreign language by providing translations for musical terms shared by the composer, like “fortissimo” to direct them to play very loud … and teaching history so students will understand the times and setting of specific compositions. Paquette “gives kids the gift of music,” Linneman explained. When many band students pick up an instrument for the first time in sixth grade, it’s quite an undertaking for them to decipher visual notations from sheet music to finger movements on an instrument to actually creating pleasantly audible sounds. Linnemann said resource teachers whose subjects do not focus on SOL scores often don’t get recognized for their contributions to students. Paquette “has significantly impacted my daughter by encouraging and supporting her development” as a musician, a student, and a young person.
Donna Purkey was nominated by guidance counselor Maria Eiring, who praised Purkey’s leadership and dedication to students at Northern Shores Elementary. She tutors English Language Learners, and helps Spanish-speaking families make the transition to Suffolk Public Schools. A military wife and mother of two, Purkey has published a children’s book called Miss You to Pieces: A Deployment Story & Project Idea for Kids. She is the volunteer adviser for the military’s program “Anchored 4 Life,” which promotes resilience in military connected children and families. Her own family has managed various deployments. She has a sixth-grader and a fifth-grader. On a broader scale, Purkey is a key factor in the success of two after-school programs for Northern Shores students — Girls on the Run and Hero Boys, Eiring added: “I am blessed to work with her … She is loved and well-received by our staff, students and families. Donna Purkey is a gem!”
Additional Support Staff Honorees
- Ella Mae Anderson, a paraprofessional at King’s Fork High School
- Larry Chapman, a bus driver for John Yeates Middle School
- Barbara Miskin, a bus driver for Creekside Elementary
- Stephen Shapiro, a master tradesworker for Suffolk Public Schools
Additional Instructional Staff Honorees
- Melanie Burnor, a teacher at Northern Shores Elementary
- Allison Greene, a media specialist at Kilby Shores Elementary
- Jessica Johnson, a teacher at Kilby Shores Elementary
- Erik Johnson, a teacher at Creekside Elementary
- Karen Jones, a guidance counselor at Kilby Shores Elementary
- Austin Kulp, a teacher at Kilby Shores Elementary
- Karen Lawson, a teacher at Oakland Elementary
- Leah Moulton, a teacher at Kilby Shores Elementary
- Valerie Smith, a teacher at King’s Fork Middle School
Second semester nominations for the Superintendent’s Star Award program are due by March 31.
Link here for details on the award program.
Link here for the NOMINATION FORM.