Franklin City Public Schools celebrates employees in Olympic fashion

Published 12:31 pm Monday, July 11, 2022

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Franklin High School cheerleaders shouted and shook their pom poms as employees of  Franklin City Public Schools entered the high school Thursday, June 16. 

An FCPS news release said these employees were presented medals in keeping with an Olympic theme, which celebrated the strength and excellence in education that came from a diverse and committed team. The enthusiastic greeting was to welcome everyone to the Employee Appreciation Celebration 2022 that morning.

Inside the auditorium, photos from the past school year were projected on a screen. 

Welcoming everyone was FCPS Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Dwana White. She was joined by two members of her team, Barbara Tyler-Hilliard and Chris Meissel, who helped to emcee the program. 

“Franklin City Public Schools would like to thank all of you for your dedication to students and families,” White said. “We chose the Olympic theme because the Olympics is about bringing people together from all backgrounds. We are a family here in FCPS and our success is our teamwork.”  

Amy L. Phillips, chair of the FCPS School Board, gave greetings from the board, which included Robert Holt, vice chair, who was also present.

First in the series of employee recognitions was the FCPS Teachers of the Year: Clinton Smith, of S.P. Morton Elementary School; Courtney Rheuark, of J.P. King Jr. Middle School; and Ale Massenburg, of FHS. Massenburg was named as the FCPS Teacher of the Year. 

A video recording was played that featured three students from each school speaking briefly of how their respective educators had made a positive impression on them. 

Meissel told everyone that Smith has said in the past that his 4-H teacher influenced him to go to college — a first in his family. An adviser later recommended he become a teacher, and this year Smith celebrates 35 years of teaching art to generations of students. 

Rheuark was quoted stating that she once wanted to become a lawyer and later a judge. But an elective college class in Education 101 inspired her to become a teacher instead. 

She has said, “I wanted to pursue something that I was going to love, as well as be able to give back to others and make an impact.”

Massenburg has said she became a counselor “to help students who were often left behind and not effectively counseled due to their economic and community status.” 

Further, her favorite part of being a counselor is “to see a student who has experienced difficulties in life find the courage and strength to overcome them.” 

The following faculty, staff and administrators were also saluted: 

  • Exceptional Teacher of the Year: Shonda Turner 
  • Outstanding New Teacher of the Year: Jermaine Jackson 
  • Nutrition Staff Member of the Year: Scott Evans
  • Custodial Staff Member of the Year: Lakeshia Langley 
  • Support Staff Member of the Year: Charlene Logan-Britt 
  • Bus Driver of the Year: Clinton Smith 
  • Car Driver of the Year: Doris Goodwyn 
  • Maintenance Staff Member of the Year: John Smith 
  • Central Office Staff Member of the Year: Meta Stratton
  • Central Office Support Staff Member of the Year: Susan Bonser
  • Long-Term Substitute of the Year: Braxton Cooper
  • Coach the Year: Amy Gay-Biggs
  • Assistant Principal of the Year: Tanyeka Thornton
  • Administrator of the Year: FHS Principal Travis Felts

Following were those recognized for their years of service:

5 years: Brittany Boone, Dara Riddick-Fenner, Brenda Lawrence, Dr. Tamara Sterling, Tammy Moore, Jessica Montague, Sandra Christopher, Nicole Moegenberg, Vareka Gary, Texie Sackett and Candice Townsend;

10 years: Wanda Blythe and Tammie Wilson;

15 years: Dorothy Harris and Regina Myrick;

20 years: Lekisha Brown, Nellie Britt-Stith, Theresa Gary and Larry Clark;

25 years: Dennis Murphy and Barbara Murphy;

30 years: Malinda Whitehead-Dawson;

35 years: Clinton Smith and Veronica Knight; and

40 years: Joyce Carter.

Those FCPS personnel who have retired this school year were also lauded: Julia

Bradshaw, of central office; Loveeta Britt, of FHS; Norletta Edmond, of central office; Orris Lane, of JPK; Loretta Porter, of JPK; Calvin Sing, of SPM; and Danny Custer, of maintenance.

White presented the final honor, the Inspiration Perseverance Award, to Sterling for her inspirational leadership, especially during a challenging time in her personal life.  

With some emotion, Sterling shared that health issues challenged her this school year, but suffice to say that as of April, her condition is in full remission. That announcement in turn inspired cheers from the FCPS family in the audience. 

“It was a surprise,” she later said of the award. “I am very blessed and fortunate to be a part of the FCPS family.”

Those present at the Employee Appreciation Celebration were then treated to a luncheon in the school cafeteria.