Commissioner Stewart Names the 2018 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year


May 16, 2018

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Commissioner Stewart Names the 2018 Florida School-Related Employee of the Year
~Clay County educator honored with award and $10,000 check~

Largo, Fla., May 16, 2018 – Today, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart named Stephanie Melton, an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Behavioral Health Assistant at W.E. Cherry Elementary School in Clay County, the 2018 School-Related Employee of the Year. Commissioner Stewart made the announcement during a State Board of the Education Meeting, where she also recognized the four remaining statewide finalists.

Each of the finalists received $6,500, and the statewide winner received $10,000.

“I am thrilled to recognize Stephanie Melton as the 2018 School-Related Employee of the Year,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “Working full time while pursuing a degree in Education has not stopped her from finding time outside of the school day to help her students and their families. Her passion for meeting students’ individual needs is obvious, and she is truly deserving of this honor.”

"This prestigious recognition shows Stephanie Melton's commitment to students reaches beyond the classroom,” said Clay County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis. “She represents the core values of our school district and is an exemplary educator. Ms. Melton has dedicated her life to teaching and changing the lives of students with special needs at school and in our community. I am honored to work alongside Ms. Melton, and I look forward to her continued success in the future.”

Stephanie Melton is an ESE Behavioral Health Assistant at her alma mater, where she has worked for 10 years. During the eight years she has served in this position, she has demonstrated a commitment to honing her skills to meet students’ individual needs. For instance, she learned sign language to communicate better with non-verbal students. Despite working two jobs and pursuing a postsecondary degree in Education, Melton makes time to support students and their families after school and on the weekends. She also assists local non-profit organizations in raising awareness about special needs. For eight years, she has organized the annual HEAL Zoo Walk for Autism; through her efforts, significant funds were raised and W.E. Cherry Elementary School received five iPads for ESE classrooms.

About the School-Related Employee of the Year Program: The Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for their contributions to their schools and communities. Each school district and/or participating institution may nominate one school-related employee; from those submissions, five finalists are selected and one is named the School-Related Employee of the Year. 

More information about the 2018 School-Related Employee of the Year Finalists and the School-Related Employee of the Year Program is available here.

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