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Sarah Woods Named Sarasota County Schools School-Related Employee of the Year

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SARASOTA COUNTY, April 20, 2018 – Sarah Woods, a Food and Nutrition kitchen manager at Gulf Gate Elementary School, has been named the 2018 Sarasota County School District School-Related Employee of the Year. According to an announcement made today by Commissioner of Education, Pam Stewart, Ms. Woods is also one of five finalists to compete for statewide recognition next month. 

“Sarah Woods continues to succeed through hard work and dedication,” noted Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “Not only is she an incredible manager, her care for the students at Gulf Gate Elementary is inspiring. She is one of our brightest employees, and I am thrilled she has been recognized as the district’s 2018 School-Related Employee of the Year.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with many outstanding leaders during my career, and Sarah Woods is one of the finest leaders I have had the privilege to work with,” said Robin Magac, principal at Gulf Gate Elementary. “She displays such a cooperative and harmonious nature – the students and staff just adore her. This recognition is well-deserved.”

“Being a Food and Nutrition Services employee is a tough job,” commented Beverly Girard, Sarasota County Schools Food and Nutrition Services director. “Sarah Woods is a remarkable manager who handles her job effectively and efficiently. She is quick with a smile and a compassionate hand and I am glad the school district and Commissioner Stewart have recognized her outstanding work.”

Ms. Woods has been with the Sarasota County School District since 2006 and manages all aspects of food production and the food service staff at Gulf Gate Elementary. She currently supervises 5 employees and is responsible for preparing and serving 140 breakfasts and more than 500 lunches daily for the students at Gulf Gate Elementary. She has recently been recognized for her efforts during Hurricane Irma, when Gulf Gate Elementary became a shelter for more than 2,000 community members. She and her team worked tirelessly to ensure all shelter guests received three meals a day during the storm. 

In Sarasota County, Ms. Woods was selected from nearly 50 nominees chosen from approximately 2,200 support staff members who work throughout the district’s schools and departments, and who are not teachers or administrators. The outstanding achievements by all School-Related Employee of the Year nominees will be honored at a luncheon on May 9 at Michael’s on East. 

You can view a video produced by The Education Channel featuring Ms. Woods and Gulf Gate Elementary on YouTube.  

About Sarasota County Schools
Dedicated to academic excellence, Sarasota County Schools is home to 53 schools, 43,000 students and 5,000 employees. The Sarasota County School District is one of only two Florida school districts to consistently earn an “A” grade since 2004. Learn more:


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