Service Award

Shelly Judy– Wawasee High School

The recipient of this award must be someone who gives exemplary service, plans or assists in innovative programs to benefit all students, and gives special consideration to those who work hard to improve the learning environment for students and staff, as well as the community.

Here are some comments written about Shelly:

In terms of professional work, she does more than | could ever put in this letter. From organizing large events that include a program with meals and awards to the most tedious task of typing data into spreadsheets, She does them all masterfully. One great example I can provide is her work with scholarships. A couple years ago we had a retirement and I asked her if she would take on everything that comes along with scholarships for our students. She agreed without hesitation and the results have been incredible for our students. I have heard from multiple community members throughout the county that sit on scholarship committees who state how impressed they have been the last few years with the number of scholarships they are receiving from WHS students and the quality of their scholarships. Along with this praise, our students have continued to increase the total amount of scholarship dollars earned each year, including 5 Eli Lily Scholarship recipients in Kosciusko County coming from WHS in the last 4 years. This year, both Eli Lily Scholarship recipients for Kosciusko County are from Wawasee, this being the 2nd time both recipients are from WHS since she has assisted with scholarship applications. Prior to her assisting with scholarship applications, only 2 previous Lily winners can be remembered by those who have worked here for 20+ years. In addition to the quality of her work, she has appreciated the opportunity to grow through attending the IASP Secretaries Conferences since I have been principal.”

Above & Beyond Award

Lindsay Dodd– Selma Elementary School

This is given to someone who works with teachers to implement and support programs focused on student learning.  The recipient must have displayed risk-taking to improve the school in some significant way.

Here are some comments written about Lindsay:

Every morning, there is a steady stream of students who come in to get their morning hugs and greetings from her. She goes above and beyond every single day. One example of this is in the care that she gives to one of our students. This particular student comes to school unkept, and it is frequently days or longer in between her hair being combed out. This student is one of her morning visitors and she often combs her hair for her and even puts it into cute braids. There was a recent day that she spent over 30 minutes trying to get the tangles out of this student’s hair. She did it with love and with a smile. This is one of many examples of how she loves and cares for others.

She is deeply committed to students. She makes phone calls to a few of our families who have numerous absences when their students don’t come to school. These morning phone calls often result in the student being brought to school. A few years back, we had a student who was at home alone (5th grade). She called him periodically during the day to check-in. Nobody asked her to do this – she just did it out of genuine concern. She called him to make sure his neighbor was home if he needed something and again to be sure that he had eaten lunch and reminded him to get on his Google Meet lesson. She is always willing to lend a helping hand, even outside of the school day. She has helped to decorate for our Father-Daughter Dance, and she often helps decorate classrooms when teachers have milestone birthdays. She is friendly to everyone, and I frequently have visitors comment on how welcome they feel when they come to our school.”

Compassion Award

Mary Weliver– North Montgomery High School

This award recognizes an individual who has consistently displayed a caring and supportive attitude that contributes to a positive school atmosphere.  This is someone who truly reflects high standards and promotes staff morale.

Here are a few comments that were written about Mary:

She’s honestly been a second mother to me these past 17 years. She makes sure I don’t skip lunch and eat, admonishing me when I get too busy and might miss a meal. She always checks in on my wife and kids making sure everyone is ok. She constantly sneaks extra food into my office and makes sure everything is just so. And all of it stems from her love and dedication to our high school. Platitudes like, “the face of the school” and “backbone of the building” seem cliche and overused. However, in her case, these things are true. I’m biased of course, but I can’t think of anyone who has the mixture of service, going above and beyond, patience, and grace in a similar position than she does. She has a positive attitude and cares not only about our staff but also about our parents and students.  She is always friendly and will go the extra mile to help with requests made by parents, students, teachers, and staff.  Once, a very upset parent of a bus rider called to say the family cat had been hit by a car.  The parents were fearful that the student would see the pet on the road before the parent could get home to remove it.  She offered to go and remove the cat from the road before the student could see it! That is dedication to the job indeed. ”


Leadership Award

Gloria Valdez- Hammond Academy of Science & Technology

Here, the committee searched for concrete evidence of the recipient’s ability to encourage community and parent involvement in the school.  This person should have been actively involved in training others, initiating new office procedures, and improving the overall office and school climate.

Here are some of the comments shared about Gloria:

“She is the pulse of our school. She is interwoven in every aspect of our school’s functionality, and goes above and beyond her call of duty. For example, our basketball team had to be up at 6am for a road trip, and when we arrived at the school, she had breakfast prepared for the players. This is one of many times she has sacrificed her own money in an effort to make sure others have a positive experience. That speaks to how selfless she is, and her pride in our school. She has made significant contributions to our school community in various capacities. She has hosted the “HASTpitality” committee to improve the culture and climate of the school staff, fostering unity and camaraderie among our faculty. Additionally, as the co-sponsor for the class of 2025, she led the students in fundraising effo1ts that resulted in the remarkable achievement of over $15,000. Her proactive initiatives to organize extracurricular activities and collaborate with the business department to establish fundraising policies and procedures have greatly enhanced our school’s communication and fundraising efforts.”

Secretary of the Year Award

Tammy Lewis– Wilson Elementary School

For this award, the committee used a well-defined rubric to score all areas of leadership, compassion, service, and going above and beyond.

Here are a few comments shared about Tammy:

Her principal and assistant principal wrote many things about her.  Here are a few comments shared with us:

  • Leads school picture day and creates the school yearbook.
  • She trains new hires in the district and collaborates with the other admin assistants in the corporation.
  • She helps at Camp Kindergarten by making packets and giveaways to promote our school and welcome new families.
  • She shops for school events including Title 1 events, athletic concessions stand, student incentives, student council needs and staff celebrations.
  • She frequently assists with supervision of students who are not picked up until after teacher contract time.
  • She is able to communicate with scared or angry parents. She talks with them and helps to answer questions/concerns.
  • She offers to make calls and assist families with online registration. This could be in English or with a phone interpreter and can take at least one hour per student.
  • She attended Training for Safe Crisis Management and is the first call responder for unsafe situations in the building.
  • She attends Safe Crisis Refreshers annually.
  • She attends Safe Crisis Building Level Practice sessions- monthly.
  • She organizes, creates, and sets up the 10 days of staff appreciation at Christmas.
  • She adopts and supports our Angel tree project at Christmas.
  • . She works with PTO to make sure staff appreciation events are set up, cleaned up and ready.
  • She is also the district athletic secretary. She must run checks and process all paperwork for athletic tournaments.


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