Stafford Schools host Gold Star Gala

by | May 10, 2024 | ALLFFP, Schools & Education, Stafford

Stafford County Public Schools hosted the 2024 Gold Star Gala Dinner and Ceremony yesterday, honoring outstanding staff members across the district in service and licensed positions. The event showcased the achievements and dedication of educators and staff who tirelessly contribute to the success and well-being of students.

The evening commenced with a welcome address by Joellaine Duku, the year’s student representative to the school board, and a piano performance by Calvin Eveler, an 8th grade student from Edward E. Drew Middle School. The event was further elevated by the presentation of colors by the Stafford High School Navy JROTC, accompanied by a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Raina Chan, from Mountain View High School. The event was graced by distinguished guests, including members of the school board and state Sen. Tara Durant and Del. Paul Milde.

“The Gold Star Gala celebrates not just the achievements of our Staff of the Year recipients, but the unwavering commitment and excellence that define our entire team,” said Thomas Taylor, superintendent. “The dedication of all our employees not only elevates our institution but serves as a beacon of inspiration for our community. I congratulate all of our nominees, and thank them for continuing to choose Stafford.”

Maureen Siegmund, chair of the school board, extended her gratitude to all attendees and emphasized the significance of recognizing the exceptional talent within the district. The ceremony proceeded with awards presented by Joellaine Duku and Jenny Odetogun (school board alternate student representative) to various categories of staff members, including bus drivers, nutrition employees, school protection officers, counselors, assistant principals, student support services employees, service employees, first class teachers, teachers, and principals.

“Each person of the year demonstrates dedication, leadership, and an unwavering commitment that not only enriches our school community, but inspires others to excel together,” said Siegmund. “Our employees are the heart of our district, and their continued excellence is instrumental in fostering a culture of achievement and student success. I am so proud of each and every one.”

The winners of each category are as follows:

Bus Drivers of the Year: Cleophas Brickhouse, Michael Furchak, Coleen Lamar

Bus Attendant of the Year: Tyler Terry

Nutrition Services Employees of the Year: Araceli Alquizar, Brooke Point High School; Lisa Donovan, North Star Early Childhood Education Center; Wilson Gomez Arevalo, Edward E. Drew, Jr. Middle School

School Protection Officer of the Year: Deputy David Muñoz, Anne E. Moncure Elementary School

School Resource Officer of the Year: Deputy RiShawn Allen, North Stafford High School

Counselor of the Year: Shannon Kelly, Anne E. Moncure Elementary School

Assistant Principal of the Year: Niki Simms, Conway Elementary School

Student Support Services Employee of the Year: Jennifer Hoff, Anne E. Moncure Elementary School

Service Employees of the Year: Kristen Payne, Edward E. Drew, Jr. Middle School; Tracy Trujillo, Transportation Services

First Class Teacher of the Year: Ashley Gebhart, Conway Elementary School

Teacher of the Year: Jenny Taylor, Grafton Village Elementary School

Principal of the Year: Dr. Brian Raska, Hartwood Elementary School

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