Honoring and thanking school staff became the Nettle Creek school board’s focus on May 10.

Superintendent Emily Schaeffer presented certificates to staff members recognized by vote of fellow staff members. Each, she said, represented examples of Nettle Creek School Corporation by maintaining high levels of performance in their daily work. She read from comments submitted by those who nominated them for the recognition.

Teachers of the year: Maddie Davis, kindergarten at Hagerstown Elementary School, and Julie Arnold, counselor for grades 10-12 at Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High School. “Ms. Davis is able to support a child with whatever troubles they are facing. She is a great communicator with families and goes above and beyond for her students,” Schaeffer read. “Mrs. Arnold has always worked so hard to do the best for the kids. She is organized and keeps the students on track. She is a team player and is willing to help out in any situation.”

Rookies of the year: Bryndan Alvey, HES special education teacher, and Kendra Sanders, HJSHS band teacher. Schaeffer said, “Mr. Alvey is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. He has been a shining star in our Special Education program.” Sanders came to the HHS band program in February. Schaeffer said, “In a short period of time, Mrs. Sanders has managed to grow numbers and excitement for our band program. Since she has been here, she has made a tremendous impact on our students. It is extremely encouraging to see the band becoming a point of pride in the community again.” Schaeffer later reported that 49 students will be participating in summer band, an increase from 2022.

Support staff: Barbara Sullivan, who started the year as an instructional aide and stepped in to become fifth grade math teacher, and Wade Pate of the HJSHS technology staff. Schaeffer said, “Mrs. Sullivan is the single most hardworking and positive person in the entire school district. She takes what is thrown at her and keeps rolling.” Schaeffer said, “Mr. Pate has come to my rescue numerous times …. He is always extremely prompt with any problem that I have and always works to resolve it. Mr. Pate goes the extra mile to come to my room when students are having technology issues.”

Maintenance staff: Fabian Ford. “Mr. Ford is incredibly hard working. He never fails to do a task quickly and efficiently. Mr. Ford constantly goes above and beyond in his role and always does so with extreme positivity,” Schaeffer said. The nomination praised Ford for his mentoring and work with a student assistant, Chase Sutherland.

Cafeteria staff: Michelle Schlegel, HES cafeteria manager. “Amazing, dependable, and kind are all words used to describe Mrs. Schlegel. Our cafeteria staff coordinate meals for more than 500 people every day for 180 days per year. That’s 90,000 meals, not including breakfast. Shelly always makes sure that kids have a full meal in front of them,” Schaeffer read.

Bus driver: Wayne Atkinson. Schaeffer said, “Our bus drivers are the first people most of our kids see in the morning and the last they see before going home. This is something that Mr. Atkinson doesn’t take lightly. I have been able to get to know him this year and have learned that he cares so much about the kids he brings to and from school.”

In other business, the board approved letting the Nettle Creek Players summer theater use HES for rehearsals from June 15-July 19. They also approved plans for an FFA Officer Overnight field trip.

Schaeffer listed the senior class schedule leading to commencement, including the Senior Salute, parade and sunset on May 21; Down and Dirty Day, senior walk-through and graduation practice, May 25; Honors Night, June 1; and graduation, June 4.

The board accepted the superintendent’s personnel recommendations, as listed.

Certified staff: Rachel Harmon and Maria Cummins, HES teachers.

Noncertified staff: Sierra Searcy, long-term sub; Madelynn Ward, HES instructional assistant; Kodie Houghton, sub bus driver.

Resignations: Stacy Coffey, media specialist; Brittany Thompson, HES instructional assistant; Hayley Charles, business manager.

Extracurricular activities: Erica Glunt and Chloe Beaty, cheerleading freshman, JV coaches; Scott Snodgrass, summer conditioning coordinator; Phil Renforth, Caleb Blaase, Jeb Clifton, Ryan Pass and Betsy Swimm, summer conditioning coaches; Mark Doerstler, summer boys basketball; Chris Oliger, summer girls basketball; Snodgrass, summer football; and Brian Dale, summer volleyball.

The next regular school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, in the LGI room at HES, 299 N. Sycamore St. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 17 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.