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Press Release

Friday, April 25, 2014

DOE Press Office

Commissioner Pam Stewart Announces Florida's Top School-Related Employee

~ Five statewide finalists thanked for their significant contributions to students and schools ~

Tallahassee, Fla., April 25, 2014 - Commissioner Pam Stewart today recognized James Lefko as the 2014 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year for his work as food services manager at Bayshore Elementary School in Lee County Public Schools. Lefko was selected from among five statewide finalists nominated by their districts for outstanding service to their school communities.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to recognize these important members of our education system," said Commissioner Pam Stewart. "Support personnel manage the inner workings and logistics of our schools, allowing our educators to focus on preparing Florida's students for success in college, career and life. The contributions of these professionals are invaluable."

Additional finalists honored at today's breakfast included:

  • Debra Alvis-Greenwald, administrative assistant at Booker Middle School in Sarasota County Schools;
  • Kathy Moresi, executive assistant for the Professional Learning Department at Florida Virtual School;
  • Toni Padgett, career specialist at Fleming Island High School in Clay County Schools; and
  • Deloris Patterson, school secretary at Dr. Phillips High School Ninth Grade Center in Orange County Public Schools.

Lefko was awarded $1,000 in cash and tickets to LEGOLAND® Florida. Finalists received a $500 cash prize and tickets to LEGOLAND Florida.

LEGOLAND Florida is a 150-acre, two-day interactive theme park designed specifically for families with children ages 2-12. The largest LEGOLAND Park in the world, it features more than 50 family rides, shows and attractions, water parks, restaurants, shopping, a water park and beautiful historic botanical garden.

To learn more about the Florida Department of Education programs to recognize the contributions of outstanding school administrators, classroom teachers and education support personnel, visit Recognition Awards.

2014 School-Related Employee of the Year James Lefko and Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Brian Dassler School-Related Employee of the Year finalists joined by representatives of the Department of Education and LEGOLAND.