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PRESS RELEASE

June 08, 2005

Melanie Mowry Etters
(850)245-0413

Education Commissioner Announces School-Related Employee of the Year

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced Maria S. Pena as the winner of the 2005 School-Related Employee of the Year. Ms. Pena is a Food Service Assistant at the Perkins Head Start Early Childhood Center in Martin County.

"I extend my congratulations to Ms. Pena on her selection as the 2005 School-Related Employee of the Year," said Commissioner Winn. "Every employee in our public schools has a role in helping students achieve at their highest potential. Each of the individuals nominated should be proud to represent their fellow school-related employees throughout the state."

Also announced are the finalists selected from nominations submitted by 64 of Florida’s school districts.

  • Linda Broussard, St. Johns County – As a teacher aide and receptionist at R.B Hunt Elementary School in St. Augustine, Ms. Broussard is a 20 year veteran well known for her caring, enthusiastic, can-do attitude. She also serves as the school’s FCAT Explorer administrator and assists in the Extended Day Homework Center.
  • Shirley Ann Fowler, St. Lucie County – Ms. Fowler is an Exceptional Student Education Paraprofessional at Frances K. Sweet Elementary Magnet School in Ft. Pierce. For the past 20 years, she displayed flexibility and concern while providing assistance to individual students and student groups. She also mentors struggling students and is working toward an A.A. degree.
  • Holly McCann, Clay County – Ms. McCann is a Reading Aide at Doctors Inlet Elementary School and goes beyond the call of duty while she plans and organizes activities for students to improve reading skills. She implemented the Great Leaps program for all third grade students to help them acquire the necessary reading skills.
  • Marybeth Zacharias, Hernando County – Ms. Zacharias is a Title 1 Parent Educator at Eastside Elementary School in Brooksville and is a tireless worker for all Title 1 schools in the district. She acts as the liaison between the school and home, providing information and materials for parents, teachers and students.