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Press Release

Thursday, April 24, 2014

DOE Press Office

Department of Education Employees Honored with Patriot Award

~ Employees recognized for their support for members of the National Guard or Reserve and their families ~

Tallahassee, Fla., April 10, 2014 - Three Florida Department of Education employees were honored today with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. This regional award is presented to employers who support members of the National Guard or Reserve and their families through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment and granting leaves of absence if needed. Career and Adult Education Chancellor Rod Duckworth, Kathleen Taylor and Eric Owens were recognized for their efforts.

"As we do our important work here in the department, day in and day out, it's easy to forget that some of our colleagues spend their time away from work in reserve units of the military, defending our rights and freedoms," said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. "Employees who have past and present military experience are very valuable to our organization. They are disciplined, skilled and have a strong work ethic. They display pride, leadership and responsibility. I'm very proud of the three supervisors recognized today for their support of the reservists employed at DOE."

Peters, who has worked with the Department of Education since 2012, said he nominated the individuals in his office because of their "overwhelming understanding, support and responsiveness of the needs of the United States Air Force Reserves." He said the support his spouse received while he was deployed was an added factor.

"Supporting our staff members as they perform their military responsibilities is an honor as well as duty that we gladly accept," Duckworth said during the event held on the top floor of the Turlington Building. "In the case of our staff member, Senior Master Sergeant Scott Peters, we are fortunate to have an individual who performs to the highest standard in his service to his country and to the state of Florida."

Lt. Colonel Robert Sweet, 476th Fighter Deputy Group Commander from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, who was joined by Roger Trout of the Department of Defense Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, said it is important to recognize employers and supervisors who overwhelmingly go out of their way to support reserve military members so they can perform and concentrate on their military duties without fail.