An elementary secretary’s job is not for the weak, what with the constant phone ringing, doors buzzing, students arriving late. Not to mention the occasional irate parents. But Harrison’s Terry Moreman handles it all with patience and aplomb.
To a person, Terry’s colleagues mention how Terry treats everyone with kindness and always goes out of her way to lend a hand wherever she can. And that she is an expert multi-tasker.
“Terri is patient, kind, calm, and efficiently solves problems for many of the parents and staff at Harrison,” says Kellie Brown, one of Terry’s 13 nominators.
“Terry goes way beyond her secretarial duties at Harrison. She is the most hardworking secretary I've ever met, and always willing to help teachers with anything,” added Anna Cintron.
Terry says her motivation to work so hard at her job is the students and her colleagues. She wants to help in any way she can to optimize a child’s time in the classroom. That may take the form of her making repeated calls to a parent who didn’t sign a voucher to waive school fees, or checking to see that everyone who is eligible filled out the free and reduced lunch form.
“It makes me feel good inside” to help these families, says Terry, who joined the District in 2004 and Harrison in 2007.
Terry’s conscientious manner often leads her to work beyond her scheduled hours. However, she still finds time to make personal connections with Harrison staff that has left an impression on her co-workers, such as Jennifer Witt, who says:
“Terry is never too busy to ask about your personal family and makes coming to work better every day.”
For Garfield Middle School paraprofessional Lana Wade, life is all about the connections you make with people, something that comes naturally to her. Working with students in the classroom, her quiet but confident manner draws them in and earns a trust that goes beyond just academics. This has made a big impression with fellow staff members.
Just ask the many colleagues who nominated Lana for the Staff Spotlight award.
Teachers Colleen Corrigan and Leslie Eiben praised Lana for the compassionate way she approaches her students’ academic and emotional learning: “She listens to them and responds to their needs, making a difference in their lives on a daily basis. She is an inspiration and a role model for all of us,” wrote Colleen and Leslie in their nomination.
Lana, who joined the District in 2003 at Emerson then moved to Garfield in 2007, finds great satisfaction in building bonds with her students as it allows her to help them be successful in their academics.
“Building relationships is so important because if you have that relationship, they will more easily do what they need to” to succeed, says Lana.
Whether she is working with students in one of the core subjects or in the English Learners classroom, “Lana's hard work and loving support pushes students to achieve beyond their perceived capabilities,” said teacher Alex Schulze.
Her colleagues take note of Lana’s quiet leadership and her intuition for finding that student who is most in need of her gentle encouragement.
“She takes needy students under her wing and has a calm presence about her that helps students flourish,” says Liz Street. “She is a wonderful example of what a person in education needs to be like.”