Mercer Co. Kindergarten Aide Named State Service Personnel Employee of the Year

September 10, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gail Shrewsbury, a kindergarten instructional aide for Mercer County Schools, was honored Wednesday by the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) as the 2014 WVBE School Service Personnel Employee of the Year.

Photo of Gail Shrewsbury
As a 38-year school veteran, Shrewsbury has been employed by Mercer County for 33 years, 14 of which have been at Spanishburg. From a field of 33 nominees from county schools and worksites, Shrewsbury was unanimously selected to receive the State Service Personnel Employee of the Year award.

"School service personnel are an important part of any school family," said WVBE President Gayle Manchin. "We are proud to honor these employees for their many contributions that help our students every day. From everything I see and hear about Gail, she is a wonderful representative of the thousands of dedicated school service employees across our state."

At Spanishburg Elementary School, Shrewsbury created a “buddy table” to improve cafeteria behavior and to reward students who follow the cafeteria rules. She honors these students by treating them to a special lunch table with fresh flowers and small surprises purchased from her own pocket.

“Shrewsbury is always willing and ready to help whenever and wherever an extra hand is needed,” said Spanishburg Elementary School Principal Melissa Boothe. “She assists and supports the parents, students, co-workers and the community in all facets. Gail is a true para-professional and there is no job at Spanishburg that she can’t do. Our school is a better place because Gail Shrewsbury is employed here.”

Photo of Kyle Linger
Kyle Linger, a bus operator for Upshur County Schools, was selected as the runner-up. He has been employed by the county for 22 years and has trained other bus operators for 17 years.

The WVBE established the annual award program to recognize outstanding school service personnel employees including aides, bus drivers, cooks, custodians, maintenance workers, office workers and other school service personnel who best exemplify the qualities of an outstanding employee.

The recognition program is designed to work similarly to the state's Teacher of the Year program, which honors classroom teachers who inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues and play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.

Shrewsbury earned her paraprofessional certification in 2002 and continues her education through the Governor’s Summer Institute of Professional Development, Marshall University autism mentor training and school and county level professional development classes.

The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association supports this recognition and provides a $500 financial gift to the winner each year.

For more information, contact Liza Cordeiro in the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.

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