2019 Superintendent's Service Awards
Fifty-three employees were nominated for the Superintendent's Service Awards. These annual awards are designed to honor support staff members who go above and beyond the call of duty as they perform their job responsibilities. This year's contest judges were Autry Daniel, assistant director for auxiliary and PASAR staffing; James Dearing, coordinator for employee relations; Shaista Jiwani, coordinator for human resources operations; and Tawn King, assistant director for employee recruitment and retention. The announcement of winners was made by Superintendent of Schools Sara Bonser at the Salute to Service banquet on April 4. Congratulations to:
- Maria Alvarez: Bilingual Special Education Teacher Assistant, Meadows Elementary School
- Sergio Corona: General Maintenance III, Facility Services
- Brittney Love: Paraprofessional, Charmaine Solomon Adult Transition Center
- Elizabeth Williamson: Office Manager, Student Services
Read more about the winners' accomplishments and letters of recommendation below.
Pictured are Superintendent of Schools Sara Bonser, Elizabeth Williamson, Student Services; Maria Alvarez, Meadows Elementary School; Brittney Love, Charmaine Solomon Adult Transition Center; Sergio Corona, Facility Services; and Board President Missy Bender.
Maria Alvarez: Meadows Elementary School
Maria Alvarez: Bilingual Special Education Teacher Assistant, Meadows Elementary School
Over my 13 years of service, Plano ISD has given me the opportunity to make connections with all students, and has allowed me to implement strategies altogether with my creativity, to help students achieve their highest goals. I feel extremely proud to be an advocate for students who need specialized instruction, to help them demonstrate their full potential, by setting a good example to build their character and to be reflected in their lives.
I will continue to honor my commitment with Plano ISD students and staff with professionalism, passion, support and understanding; I will use each and every resource at my disposal to achieve objectives set by the district towards our children's education.
My career at Plano ISD began at Forman Elementary School, when I was hired as parent-liaison resource. From there, I was given the opportunity to learn and develop my call for Special Education. At Forman, I was quick to assimilate different teaching styles by assisting grades as Special Education teacher assistant.
Fellow teachers noted my potential, approached Mrs. Tran, and I found myself as a Special Education Paraprofessional. In order to better assist students, I decided to learn sign language; it took dedication and practice to finally connect with a student in our school. Every training I have attended has given me tools and resources to have an assertive approach to my students; however, I have learned the most from fellow staff members and, in particular, from instructional support specialists, speech pathologists, diagnosticians and occupational therapists; without their unconditional support and knowledge, my tasks would have been impossible to achieve.
Because of my continuing search for knowledge and challenge, in 2016 Meadows Elementary opened their doors for me. I felt embraced immediately by the Bulldog family, where teachers are 100% committed to the students, always working as a team overcoming occasional disagreements or conflict, staying focused on the student's success.
I received the “Bow-Wow” award - February 2019: Meadows Elementary recognition for going beyond the call of duty.
Letter of Recommendation
Dear Committee Members:
Maria Alvarez is the epitome of what it means to be filled with happiness and joy. She is always wearing a smile no matter where she is in the building. Her day begins with carpool duty and she welcomes our students with a cheerful, "Good Morning, we are happy you are here today." Come rain or shine she is there to make sure our student's day gets off to a great start. Maria is known for making the most of our school dress up days. She has dressed up for all sporting events, book fairs, red ribbon week events, spirit days, and holiday events. The best part of Maria's sunny disposition is that she supports and celebrates all of the children she works with each day. Maria serves as a special education assistant at Meadows. She models having a positive attitude, supports students when something is not easy, and reminds them they can achieve what they set their mind to each and every day. All of our students and staff members look forward to working with Maria. You are guaranteed to be greeted with a warm welcome, a smile, and encouraging words. We are truly blessed to have Maria on Team Meadows.
Below are our staff's responses to - What do we love about Maria?
- She always has a smile for her students or co-workers
- Participates in all school activities, including all dress up days
- Gives 100% in everything she does
- Is a team layer and has a kind and welcoming way with parents, students, and staff
- She is such an asset to Meadows Elementary School
- Always willing to help out, dress up and work with ALL children
- A joy to be around and always has a smile on her face
- Dedicated to our campus and a fun person to work with every day
- Very efficient and works hard
- Up for any challenge
- Will do anything she is asked with a smile on her face
- Dedicated to campus and a fun person to work with every day
- The kids love her so much
- Her passion for kids is amazing
- Her smile lights up the gloomiest of days
- The classroom thrives when she is there
- An amazing teacher
- Loves to help all
- Participates in all school activities
- Always has a smile on her face and is willing to jump right in and help whenever she is needed
- Doesn't wait to be told what is needed
- Comes to work every day with a great attitude and desire to help ALL students
- Makes an impact on so many children with her over the top positivity and growth mindset
- A joy to everyone
- Always on time to help in the classroom
- Encourages students to participate by participating with them
- Always pushing students to do better
- Helps all students learn the material
- Has a smile on her face and is willing to anything that is asked of her
- Goes above and beyond to make students feel at home and loved
- Builds relationships
- Has a wonderful spirit and attitude.
Meadows Elementary School Principal
Sergio Corona: Facility Services
Sergio Corona: General Maintenance III, Facility Services
I cannot say that I have one proudest accomplishment; I can say that I have several accomplishments. My accomplishments have come from obtaining a backflow license from the state of Texas, as well as assisting the entire school district in repairs, rebuilds and changing or rearranging the work areas in order to make life easier for teaching staff and office personnel. I take pride in spreading knowledge to the staff that works for/with me and watching them receive their own promotions.
I was hired in 2008 as general maintenance II for the east cluster. After a year, I then took over the backflow position for the next six years, and now I am currently the west cluster lead on the night shift.
I have been designated the Employee of the Month multiple times throughout my eleven years served. I have received multiple promotions, landing a spot in the inaugural Facilities Leadership Academy, and now I am nominated for superintendent award.
Letter of Recommendation
Dear Committee Members:
You do not have to directly interact with the students at Plano ISD to make a difference in their lives, and no one exemplifies that more than Sergio Corona. Sergio is the night lead for the west cluster in the Facility Services Department. However, he did not start there. Sergio began his career at Plano ISD 11 years ago as a general maintenance technician for the East Cluster. Through hard work and dedication, Sergio was promoted multiple times before becoming the night lead.
Sergio is a dependable and intelligent man whose leadership influence has spread far and wide throughout the department. He has had multiple technicians under his leadership receive promotions. It was these leadership skills that landed Sergio a place in the inaugural class of the Facilities Leadership Academy. We are incredibly fortunate to have Sergio embrace his role as a leader. The more technicians we have like him, the better our department, and our district, will be.
What makes Sergio perfect for consideration for the Superintendent Award is what he does outside of his job. Alongside managing his team and overseeing the night work for the entire west cluster, Sergio’s talents find their way into the other clusters. Currently, the east cluster is without a Backflow Technician. A Backflow Technician is one of the most important positions in the Facility Services department as they are the first line of defense we have in making sure the water in our plumbing systems doesn’t move in the reverse direction. Should the water move in reverse, it could pose serious health risks to the building by introducing contaminated water into potable water.
Sergio is currently the only backflow-certified technician we have, and he has worked his tail off testing all the backflow systems in the district along with meeting with the city’s backflow inspectors. Despite this workload, he is still carrying out his job as night lead with the same great results as he always has. This is only one example of the kind of worker Sergio is. Every technician in the department who has worked with Sergio will have a similar story of how he has worked overtime to help them or has dropped everything to lend his expertise to solve a difficult problem.
Sergio is highly regarded by both his peers and his supervisors. Not only is he respected, but his charming demeanor means he is well loved by all those that work with him. You could find no better representative of what it means to be a Superintendent’s Award Recipient than Sergio Corona.
Facility Services, Operations/Energy Manager
Brittney Love: Charmaine Solomon Adult Transition Center
Brittney Love: Paraprofessional, Charmaine Solomon Adult Transition Center
When I think of accomplishments during my time working in Plano ISD, I don’t necessarily look at them as my accomplishments. I think of the role I played in helping students with their accomplishments.
In my experience, when you show a student you truly care; you see them as another human being, only different than you; someone that is destined to take the harder path to reach a goal that comes easy to others; believing in them and encouraging them to not give up, they begin to trust you. When they trust you, they begin to open up. Once they open up, the possibilities are endless.
I worked with a particular student his senior year who was elected to give a graduation speech at Plano Senior High. The video of his speech went viral. He was interviewed by reporters from around the world. Having known this young man for several years, witnessing the incredible progress he has made since I first starting working with him, the act of him exuding such confidence and delivering his speech with such conviction, it was incredibly rewarding to look back on how far we have come together. It was his accomplishment to overcome the effects of autism. That day he was just a regular student delivering a profound graduation speech. He was so proud of himself he wanted to do it all over again. Within a year of working with him, his desire to be social, independent and affectionate (in his own way) increased dramatically. I have a personal and emotion investment in each and every one of my students. They know this and they respond. It shows in their individual growth, and how they react to situations. It takes time, patience and understanding to help each student in their own unique way.
I started my journey with Plano ISD in 2013 at Clark High School. I had never worked in special education before and was extremely excited but nervous to begin. As soon as I started I had an automatic bond to the kids, they were so trusting, funny and honest. I ended up following a particular student to Plano Senior High. I felt she needed me, honestly, as much as I needed her. When I got to Senior High I did a range of different things within our special education department. I worked with students with different disabilities and even supported students within the behavioral classrooms. I eventually moved on to the Adult Transition Center (ATC) where I am currently. I have a lot of the students that I started with; it has been amazing to see how much they have grown and all the things they have accomplished. Having a wide range of experience has helped me grow as an educator and has helped me grow as a person also. Working with the students I work with has been life changing. I want nothing but the absolute best for them and will do everything I can for them to succeed in life.
Letter of Recommendation
Dear Committee Members:
It is my heartfelt pleasure to recommend Ms. Brittney Love for the Plano ISD Superintendent’s Award. Ms. Love and I first met four years ago while she was working as a paraprofessional at Plano Senior High School. During that time, I was working as a Behavior Instructional Specialist, and Ms. Love was supporting many of the students I was assigned to support. In her role as a paraprofessional, Ms. Love was asked to collect data, assist with providing follow up instruction in the classroom, redirect challenging behavior, as well as change students and support their personal care needs. Ms. Love did all of these things with a willingness that I have seldom found in other staff I have worked with. In addition to the roles she was officially assigned, Ms. Love often went out of her way to collaborate with other professionals and develop systems that supported student progress.
Beginning this year, Ms. Love joined my staff as a Special Education Paraprofessional at the Plano ISD Adult Transition Center (ATC). Since working with the team here at the ATC, Ms. Love has taken on even more responsibility. She has begun working with teachers to develop data collection systems for each student and assisting staff with the implementation of these systems. Ms. Love moves through her day with one goal in mind, “How can I best support the students I work with.” She takes the time to get to know each student, so she can better understand how to support them, and then uses that knowledge to individualize how she works with each one of them.
Ms. Love has proven herself to be a valuable partner to her coworkers, and through her collaboration, has been an integral part of student success. She is willing to take on any challenge and jump in wherever she is needed. She has become a motivator for our ATC staff and is continuously developing innovative ways to approach student learning. The impact that Britney is making does not end with the students she works with but is also impacting the quality of life for their families.
For these reasons and so many more, I believe that Brittney Love is an excellent candidate for Plano ISD Superintendent’s Service Award.
Director of the Plano ISD Adult Transition Center
Elizabeth Williamson: Student Services
Elizabeth Williamson: Office Manager, Student Services
My proudest accomplishment is serving the students, parents, teachers, counselors, principals, coordinators and fellow staff members in promoting the education of Plano ISD students and helping these students be successful. My availability, knowledge and assistance of our summer school programs and night school program, I believe, facilitate the enrollment of students attending our many different programs.
I do this by designing applications for approximately 20 summer school programs, night school programs and coordinating with the summer school principals. I am especially proud of being involved in the planning and implementing of the parent online process for registering. I am responsible for overseeing this process and trouble-shooting problems associated with it while maintaining the database (class sections and financial information) for approximately 9,000 students.
I began employment with Plano ISD September 11, 1989. I worked in the curriculum department that was housed at the Cox Building.
My summer school duties included designing applications for approximately 24 summer programs as well as brochures, calendars, etc.; coordinating with 14 principals the designs of the applications; responsible for maintaining the data base for 6,500 students; responsible for estimated $900,000 in tuition deposits; responsible for maintaining financial records, including student payments, financial assistance, payment plans and refunds; responsible for maintaining a system for student billing of tuition payments; supervising four temporary fulltime employees and one student worker. I was also responsible for these duties in the Night School program. I was responsible for administering and grading tests for students from home school, non-accredited schools and private schools. After we moved to the current Administration Building, I worked for the science coordinator, as well as the summer school and night school coordinator.
Summer school was later moved to the Student Services department. I continued the summer school and night school duties as well as assisting with student management issues including discipline, homelessness and our Food4Kids programs. The eSchool program began at this time, and I assisted with that program.
I served as president of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Clemson Club (2004-2016). This is a group of 900+ Clemson University alumni and friends living in the DFW metroplex who participate in activities and events to promote and increase awareness of Clemson University, as well as promote fellowship within members of the group.
Letter of Recommendation
Dear Committee Members:
This year we celebrate thirty years that Elizabeth Williamson has been employed with Plano ISD. At one time, it is believe that she was the youngest person employed in the Administration Building for the district. For all thirty years, she has played an integral role in our Student and Family Services department. While leadership in our department may have encountered changes, Elizabeth has been our necessary cornerstone.
We have discovered that summer school and night school for Plano ISD would certainly be difficult to coordinate without her. She communicates with principals, teachers and curriculum coordinators, updates all forms associated with our programs, proofread every form that we distribute, monitors summer school and night school enrollment, provides summer school reports for principals and other departments. She is responsible for paying all bills, collaborates with our technology department in providing online access for students and parents to apply and pay for summer and night school.
During her daily interaction with staff and the general public, Elizabeth has always displayed the professionalism that most of us would love to possess. She completely epitomizes the public service attitude in leaving no stone unturned to accommodate our students and their quest to graduate from Plano ISD. I am extremely proud to recommend Elizabeth Williamson for our Superintendent Service Award.
Student Services Coordinator
2019 Superintendent's Service Award Nominees
- Maria Alvarez - Special Education Bilingual Assistant, Meadows Elementary School
- Barb Ballard - Paraprofessional, Plano West Senior High School
- Charlene Broaden - ISS Assistant, Williams High School
- Anne Brown - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Hedgcoxe Elementary School
- Josie Castillo - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Hughston Elementary School
- Lei Chen - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Robinson Middle School
- Sergio Corona - General Maintenance, Facility Services
- Susannah Crumley - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Plano West Senior High School
- JoEllyn Damewood - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Murphy Middle School
- Debbie Dillard - Campus Secretary, Boggess Elementary School
- Michael Drake - Techinal Support Assistant, Technology Operations
- Florencia Figueroa - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Memorial Elementary School
- Shanqualia Freeman - Clerical Support, Dooley Elementary School
- Donna Garcia - Registrar, Plano East Senior High School
- Sherrie Gardner - Secretary, Plano West Senior High School
- Susan Genz - Guidance Clerk, Vines High School
- Liliana Gonzalez - Bilingual Paraprofessional, Isaacs Early Childhood School
- Olivia Grigsby - Attendance Secretary, Frankford Middle School
- Kimberly Grogan - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Jackson Elementary School
- Gwendolyn Guthrie - Secretary III, Communications Department
- Margarita Hernandez - Food and Nutritional Services Specialist, Memorial Elementary School
- Howard Hill - Office Manager, eSchool
- Mary Hynes-Taylor - Manager, Food and Nutritional Services
- Lara Jacobs - Paraprofessional, Memorial Elementary School
- Roy Joyce - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Bethany Elementary School
- Dale Kerr - Purchasing Specialist, Purchasing
- Terri Klein - Safety & Security Service Support, Safety and Security Services
- Brittney Love - Paraprofessional, Adult Transition Center
- Fred Motney - Campus Technology Assistant, Weatherford Elementary School
- Tiffany Moore - Clerk, Special Education Services
- Nichole Mutchler - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Beaty Early Childhood School
- Theartis Neal - ISS Assistant, Wilson Middle School
- Maria Nickell - Assessment Secretary, Isaacs Early Childhood School
- Krystal Nutt - Sign Language Interpreter, Davis Elementary School
- Mandy Palazzo - Office Manager, Carlisle Elementary School
- Lily Peng - Cafeteria Manager, Jasper High School
- Rozina Plasticwala - Cashier/Food and Nutritional Services, Gulledge Elementary School
- Poornima Poondi - Secretary, Barksdale Elementary School
- Treasa Robinson - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Centennial Elementary School
- Mari Rodriguez - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Sigler Elementary School
- Miriam Rodriguez - Assistant Bilingual Teacher Special Education, Hickey Elementary School
- Lilly Ruiz - Parent Liaison, Rasor Elementary School
- Julissa Ruiz - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Armstrong Middle School
- Julie Sharp - Secretary, Wells Elementary School
- Jane Stuart - Campus Technology Assistant, Centennial Elementary School
- Michele Tinling - Teacher Assistant, Guinn Special Programs Center
- Ann Tucker - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Mathews Elementary School
- Eva Villacana - Special Education Bilingual Assistant, Barron Elementary School
- Andrew Watterud - Special Education Teaching Assistant, Mendenhall Elementary School
- Elizabeth Williamson - Office Manager, Student Services
- Lisa Wisdom - Route Specialist, Transportation
- Jo Woodland - Counseling Secretary, Shepton High School
- Stacy Ynostrosa - Interpreter, Regional Day School for the Deaf