MOUNT GILEAD — Employees from every department in the Mount Gilead School District came out last Tuesday to honor teachers, aides, maintenance workers and other employees for five to 30 years of service in the district.
School Board President Mike Sayers opened the event thanking teachers and all employees.
“You became flexible and yet you became so focused,” said Sayers as he reflected on how they had coped with the pandemic over the past year.
Sayers got a laugh from employees when he added, “And somehow you also became your own IT department.”
The shirts every employee wore had the word “Together” with a symbol of every department in the district. Shirts were provided by the Consolidated Peoples’ Fund.
Sayers thanked custodians who became so important to the district for their cleaning and following protocols through the pandemic months. Sayers said that the maintenance people got the nickname ‘Green Team’ and thanked them for all their work with Plexiglas shields.
Sayers noted that nurses met new demands with the many pandemic concerns and the IT department found new ways to get access to the internet when they sometimes brought students to the parking lots to log on to classes.
“The Board of Education could not be more proud for the way you all worked together this year,” Sayers said.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman got a chuckle when he began his talk saying, “I never had Pandemic 101 in college.”
Zimmerman is serving as Interim Superintendent from November 2019 through June this year after retiring from 40 years in the Marysville, Ohio school system. He called the many decisions he and administrators made this year “unprecedented.”
He said there was some stress in the Marysville schools with construction projects, but nothing like what he faced this year. Some decisions made were whether to have school, then how to have school, whether to require masks and whether to run buses.
“You were there to do anything needed for the kids,” Zimmerman said. “I have great confidence that next year you will take the kids where they need to go and to get the skills they need.”
He added that the district will have a great leader with new Superintendent Zack Howard.
“Zack is a great person and a great fit for you and the district,” Zimmerman said.
2021 service awards
5 years: Leah Connor, John Lee, Tina McQuistion, Bryan Miley, Jennifer Mosier, Ryan Newman, Danielle Owens, Tammie Quillman and Ross Runyan. 10 years: Carla Fleece.
15 years: Susan Delaney, Matt Gompf, Wendy McKirgan.
20 years: Sylvia Hutchins and Jennie Torrey, 25 years: Robin Conrad and Mark Kennon.
30 years: Melissa Cassidy.