Sarasota County Schools News

District to name 2017 School-Related Employee of the Year May 11

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SARASOTA, May 8, 2017 — Each year, the Sarasota County School District celebrates the professionalism and work ethic of its employees by selecting an annual School-Related Employee of the Year. The tradition will continue for the 28th year at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 11, at Michael’s on East in Sarasota. School Board Chairwoman Caroline Zucker and Superintendent of Schools Todd Bowden will be among the speakers.

The 2017 honoree will be named from among 50 nominees selected from the approximately 2,100 support staff members who work throughout the district’s schools and departments. All nominees will be honored at the luncheon. After the overall School-Related Employee of the Year is announced at the luncheon, he or she will become a goodwill ambassador for the district for the following 12 months.

As with the district’s Teacher of the Year designation, many worthy support staff members vie for the title of School-Related Employee of the Year. All employees who are not teachers or administrators are eligible to be nominated, including teacher’s aides, clerical workers, bus drivers, food service workers, custodians and groundskeepers, to name a few.

Betsy Hooper, the district’s 2016 School-Related Employee of the Year, will be on hand at the luncheon to pass the torch to the 2017 honoree. Hooper is an administrative assistant/bookkeeper.

For the 11th consecutive year, the Lead Sponsor of the School-Related Employee of the Year program is Toyota of Sarasota. As the company has done for the past 11 years, Toyota of Sarasota is honoring all district employees through its sponsorship of the program and by providing the district’s School-Related Employee of the Year with the use of a new car for a year.

The event’s Platinum Sponsors are the School Based Administrators organization, the School District Administrators organization, Harvard Jolly Architects, Neal Communities, ProFloors, Tampa Bay Trane and Tandem Construction.

Gold Sponsors are the Education Foundation of Sarasota County, Florida Blue, Magnum Builders, McIntyre Elwell & Strammer Contractors, Jon F. Swift Construction, Florida Blue, Neal Communities, Sweet Sparkman Architects, Tandus Centiva and Willis Smith Construction.

Silver Sponsors are Bencor, Cristal/Haneian Attorneys at Law, Landscape941, ME 3 Engineers, Publix Super Markets Charities, Re-Ex Insurance Broker and Springer-Peterson Roofing.

Friends of the event are the Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association and the Sarasota County Association of Educational Office Professionals.

Suncoast Technical College Digital Video Production Program students will photograph and videotape the luncheon. Booker High School music students will provide entertainment. Venice Middle School Young Marines will present the colors. 

 School District support staff snapshot

 Each employee of Sarasota County School District makes a difference in the lives of children. Here are a few examples of the many jobs performed by district support staff:


  • Teachers’ aides help instructors implement classroom activities and assist more than 41,275 students accomplish their assigned tasks.


  • Bus drivers transport 18,000 students daily and drive 5.5 million miles each year to get students to and from school and home.


  • Food service workers serve 6 million meals annually — more than any restaurant in Sarasota County.


  • Custodians clean about 8.5 million square feet of space.


  • Clerical staff members perform a variety of duties including answering phone calls from parents, applicants, volunteers and other citizens.


  • Groundskeepers maintain more than 1,500 acres at schools and district facilities. 

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