Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) held its annual awards ceremony to honor exceptional support services personnel who play a crucial role in maintaining the effective and efficient operations of the school system. The awards program recognizes outstanding individuals in various categories, including information technology, central office support, instructional assistance, food service, maintenance, secretary, and building services.
The 2023 honorees were celebrated for their dedication and contributions to their respective roles. Among the distinguished recipients were Brenda Garner, Deanna Gomez, Pamela Hawkins, Beverley Johnson, Allen Latimer, Brent Roberts, and Trina Short.
Brenda Garner, an executive assistant for transportation, was named the outstanding central office support staff. With over 40 years of service in the school system, Garner has established herself as a reliable and knowledgeable resource for transportation staff. Her role encompasses managing records, ensuring compliance with driving regulations, and facilitating communication between drivers, contractors, school staff, and parents. Michael Heim, Chief of Operations and Supporting Services, praised Garner for her unparalleled experience and expertise, which significantly contributes to providing the best possible service to students, staff, contractors, and drivers.
Deanna Gomez, secretary at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, received the outstanding secretary award. Recognized for her positive influence on her parents and her willingness to go above and beyond to assist others, Gomez is admired for her flexibility and adaptability. She is known as a team player who establishes routines and procedures to maintain a safe and orderly environment for staff, students, and parents. Mitchell’s Principal, Nick Adam, commended Gomez for her exceptional understanding of uncertain events and her commitment to ensuring the success of the school community.
Pamela Hawkins, building service manager at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, was named the outstanding building service employee. With a tenure dating back to 1989, Hawkins has consistently demonstrated her organizational skills and willingness to take on challenges. Her dedication to maintaining a clean and safe school environment has earned her praise from Higdon’s Principal, Shannon Finnegan, and Assistant Principal, Brad Buzby. Hawkins’ team consistently receives perfect audit scores, reflecting her commitment to professionalism and excellence.
Beverley Johnson, food service manager at Henry E. Lackey High School, was recognized as an outstanding food service employee. Johnson’s commitment to providing quality meals and diverse student options is unwavering. Her role expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic when she ensured students had access to safe and nutritious meals while schools closed. Johnson’s dedication to the well-being of students has earned her accolades, including being named the 2017 Employee of the Year by the Maryland School Nutrition Association.
Allen Latimer, a foreman in the electrical/mechanical group for CCPS, was honored as an outstanding maintenance employee. Latimer’s expertise in troubleshooting, repairing, and upgrading electrical systems has been invaluable to the school system. He has exhibited exceptional dependability and worked diligently to address maintenance needs promptly. His colleagues and supervisors have commended Latimer’s versatility in multiple trades and his willingness to go the extra mile.
A network engineer III, Brent Roberts was recognized as an outstanding information technology employee. Roberts has played a vital role in ensuring that CCPS’s technology infrastructure meets the instructional needs of students and staff. He has been commended for his initiative, self-starting attitude, and willingness to assist his colleagues when needed. Roberts’s contributions to enhancing network security and maintaining student laptops have been instrumental in improving the overall technology environment.
Trina Short, an instructional assistant at Gale-Bailey Elementary School, was named the outstanding instructional assistant. Her seven years of substitute teaching experience before joining Gale-Bailey has equipped her with a deep understanding of instructional practices and the needs of students. Short’s dedication to supporting teachers and students in the classroom has made her an invaluable asset to the school community. Principal Jennifer Clarke commended Short for her positive attitude, strong work ethic, and ability to build meaningful relationships with students, which contribute to a nurturing and inclusive learning environment.
The awards ceremony served as a platform to recognize and celebrate the exceptional support personnel who play a vital role in the success of Charles County Public Schools. Their dedication, expertise, and commitment to their respective roles contribute to the smooth functioning of the school system and create a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
The annual awards ceremony serves as a reminder of the valuable contributions made by support services personnel. It encourages the entire school community to express their appreciation and gratitude for their efforts. Charles County Public Schools continues to prioritize recognizing and honoring outstanding support personnel who consistently go above and beyond to support the education and well-being of students.