Superintendent Deborah A. Gist surprised five staff members at their schools and worksites on Thursday, Feb. 16 to congratulate each for being named a finalist for the Tulsa Public Schools 2017 Support Employee of the Year.
"These team members exemplify excellence, going above and beyond in service of the teachers, children, and families in Tulsa," said Superintendent Gist. "We have many dedicated staff members working 'behind the scenes' to make awesome happen every day. It's exciting to have a chance to honor and recognize them!"
The finalists are:
The Tulsa Public Schools 2017 Support Employee of the Year will be announced in spring 2017.
Becky Grisham is the cafe manager for both Remington and Robertson elementary schools and has worked with Tulsa Public Schools since 1997. Becky is committed to ensuring that her team members are successful, providing them with one-on-one training that meets each person's particular needs and abilities. She works to build team spirit through positive relationships with other co-workers and the school communities they serve. Becky takes pride in the work of her team and maintains high standards of organization and professionalism at her sites. She also serves as a mentor to other cafe managers, providing support, guidance, and feedback.
Carolyn Horn is a teacher assistant at Remington Elementary School and joined the Tulsa Public Schools team in 1998. She often works with students who need behavioral interventions, and her one-on-one support has helped reduce suspensions at Remington. Carolyn plays a key role in developing and sustaining positive learning environments by setting high expectations and modeling positive attitudes and behaviors. When needed, she uses a sense of humor to help diffuse challenging situations. Carolyn takes great care in showing students that they are important and have the potential for academic and personal excellence.
Robyn Metrailer has worked with Tulsa Public Schools for ten years and currently serves as a school clerk assistant at Memorial High School. Robyn is always willing to support student activities and fundraisers and to lend a helping hand to those who need it. She is a regular at extra-curricular events, including plays, musicals, athletic events, and academic honors. She also volunteers with the Memorial High School Parent/Teacher Association and the school culture committee. Robyn loves to learn and keeps up with technology through professional development classes. She is a member of the Twisted Sister Faculty Band and a regular performer in faculty skits.
Chris Morton joined the Tulsa Public Schools team in 1999 and works as a cafe shop apprentice in the Maintenance Department. Chris is committed to excellence in his work and approaches every task with equal urgency and professionalism while providing great customer service to Tulsa students, teachers, and staff. Outside of work, he volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club, United Way Day of Caring, Tulsa Library Friends, and the North Tulsa Historical Society. He is also a member of the Coalition of 100 Black Men, working with community members to support the positive physical, emotional, and spiritual development of young black men.
Karen West serves as Mitchell Elementary School's parent involvement facilitator and has worked for Tulsa Public Schools since 1991. Karen works tirelessly to ensure that school communications and events are accessible to both English- and Spanish-speaking families, including training her colleagues to use the district's phone interpretation services. She supports parents and guardians of third grade students to help them understand the Reading Sufficiency Act and its requirements, and she works with students who are struggling readers and writers. She also actively recruits community and business leaders to visit students and talk about the importance of education in achieving future success.