By Sarah Plummer
At the 16th annual Raleigh County School Service Personnel Recognition Banquet Monday, Billy McClaugherty Jr., mechanic with the district’s Transportation Department, was recognized as the 2012-13 Service Personnel Employee of the Year.
Personnel director Dr. Emily Meadows said McClaugherty is “dedicated to ensuring the safety of students who ride Raleigh County school buses. He is quick to diagnose a problem and suggest a solution.”
Board President Richard Snuffer pointed out his respect for service personnel stems from his own father, who drive a school bus for 40 years in Raleigh County.
“Go down Sand Lick. Go out over Irish Mountain. There are roads in this county that are hardly big enough for a car and our divers take 72 passenger buses over them safely,” he said.
He recalled a heavy snow of 2010 when bus drivers were forced to turn buses around and safety bring students back to their schools where cooks fed them.
“The success of Raleigh County Schools relies on having a core group who are conscientious and make things happen. That foundation starts with those here tonight,” said Superintendent Jim Brown. “Our bus drivers alone have driven over 2 million miles this school year. Our cooks have prepared more than 2 million meals.”
He noted that secretaries are greatly missed if they leave their post even for a moment and the custodial staff is charged with keeping aging schools looking great.
“Our class and transportation aides, not only provide extra supervision, but also give that hug at the end of the day that makes our children realized they are someone special,” he said.
McClaugherty was chosen from five Employee of the Year finalists.
Mary Collins, cook at Coal City Elementary School, was awarded Child Nutrition Employee of the Year and has 16 years of service with Raleigh County Schools.
Collins is “an outstanding part of building a culture of academics and motivation at Coal City as we empower our student to aim for success,” noted Meadows.
Danny “Shane” Treadway, Custodian-Maintenance Employee of the Year, has five years of service as custodian at Daniels Elementary.
Treadway was described has having a “true love of children” and is often heard in the halls at Daniels saying, “We work with the best and smartest children in the world.”
Judy Sarrett, a kindergarten aide at Stratton Elementary with 22 years of service, was recognized as Aide of the year.
Sarrett was described had the “heartbeat of Stratton.”
Lastly, Lilly Cook, secretary for the Department of Special Education, was awarded Office-Clerical Employee of the Year.
Cook has 23 years of service and is a calm and pleasant face for the department, helping and reassuring parents whose children have disabilities.
Raleigh County service personnel finalists in each of five categories received $150 awards from the Ford Family Fund.
The checks were presented by Larry Ford, vice president of the Raleigh County Board of Education.
The Ford Family Fund, he explained, was created to honor the legacy of Ford’s parents, Margaret and Merle, and to celebrate strong work ethics, dedication to the community and love of learning.
Also at the banquet, Brown took the opportunity to recognized Raleigh County Schools Director of Personnel Dr. Emily Meadows. Meadows will retire at the end of this school year with 37 years of service.
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