Last week, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran named Bethany Lucas, a paraprofessional in Bay County, the 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year.
Commissioner Corcoran made the announcement during the State Board of the Education meeting, where he also recognized the four remaining finalists.
Lucas has been a paraprofessional at Merritt Brown Middle School in Bay County for the last three years. As a mother of a child with autism, she has a unique perspective on the needs of her students and their families. In the days following Hurricane Michael, Lucas proved to be invaluable to her students and colleagues. She led clothing drives, arranged food deliveries and worked with her home state of Pennsylvania to secure school supplies, snacks and other necessities for students in Bay County schools.
Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said, “Even as she was coping personally with the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, Ms. Lucas put the needs of her students and community first. She is an inspiration, and I am thrilled to name her the 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year.”
Each of the finalists received $6,500, and the statewide winner received a total of $10,000.
The four statewide finalists were:
- Heather Renfroe, Citrus County
- Daisy Rios, Indian River County
- Jeremy Shaw, Leon County
- Anthony Langhorne, Pinellas County
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 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year Finalists and the School-Related Employee of the Year Program is available here.