2023 Impact Award Winners

As this school year comes to an end, ESS has selected and awarded winners for our 9th Annual Impact Awards! The Impact Award was created in 2014 to recognize employees based on frequency of work, feedback from our partner school district(s), and a commitment to exceed the expectations of their role.

This year, we honored four individuals who make an impact on the schools they serve every day. With a positive attitude, they perpetually perform above and beyond their assigned duties. The 2023 honorees were each recognized at their school districts, where they received a $1000 cash prize, an additional $500 to donate to their school of choice, and a crystal apple trophy.

Without further adieu, here are this years winners (in no particular order):

Aurora Alushllari
School District of Philadelphia, PA

Aurora Alushllari has been a substitute with ESS since 2020. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 100 absences. She primarily serves Overbrook Educational Center in the School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. She decided to honor the school by selecting them to receive the $500 donation check.

Joe Birmingham, ESS Regional Manager, said: “We are so proud to have honored Aurora Alushllari as the ESS Northeast Impact Award Winner for the 2022-23 School Year. Aurora, better known as “Ms. Lora” within the School District of Philadelphia is the Building Based Substitute at Overbrook Educational Center and has been described as “Superwoman” within the OEC community for her ability to answer the call and go above and beyond for both students and staff on a daily basis. Aurora is a friend to OEC staff, an advocate for OEC students and an unbelievably dependable partner in the field of education. Students at OEC gain quality instruction and look forward to having a safe and peaceful day when Aurora enters the room as she truly makes every day count and therefore embodies the perfect ESS Impact Award Winner!”

Pictured: ESS Regional Manager Joe Birmingham, Impact Award Winner Aurora Alushllari, ESS Zone Manager Shonda Woods, ESS Lead Zone Manager Amanda Donker, ESS Executive Vice President Andy Hall

Nataly Hernandez
Sanger Independent School District, TX

Nataly Hernandez has been a substitute with ESS since 2022. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 100 absences. She primarily serves Linda Tutt Learning Center within Sanger Independent School District in Texas. She has decided to honor the school by selecting them to receive the $500 donation check.

Reagan Dickson, a teacher at Linda Tutt Learning Center, said: “Our campus is an alternative school for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Our students can exhibit very challenging behaviors. Because of this, it is very difficult to find and keep substitutes. We have several open teaching positions and Natalay comes in nearly every day to fill these openings and works so hard. She is kind and goes above and beyond to connect with the students. She plays games with them, engages with them about their interests, and is incredibly patient when a student is exhibiting a behavior.

Even though Natalay is a substitute for our campus, she really feels like a part of our staff-family. Many substitutes come in, administer the work provided by the teacher, and do their job. Natalay far exceeds this expectation. She has taken the time to learn the intricacies of how our school functions and uses this knowledge to better serve our students every day! The kids love her and all of our staff do too!”

Pictured: ESS VP of Operations Jenna Cruz, Impact Award Winner Nataly Hernandez, Linda Tutt High School Principal Anthony Love, Area Regional Manager Corrina Jones

Shavontaye Diggins
Pitt County Schools, NC

Shavontaye Diggins has been a substitute with ESS since 2021. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 500 absences. She primarily serves Lake Forest Elementary within Pitt County Schools in North Carolina as a teacher’s aide. She decided to honor the school by selecting them to receive the $500 donation check.

A teacher at Lake Forest Elementary School said: “Ms. Diggins is my Teacher’s Aide. She is truly a blessing to our school, students, and to me! She handles so many duties in our classroom as well as our school. She loves the children and they love her. I would not be able to be successful and make it through my days without her. She takes time to work with students individually and she pours into our students. She is not only a mother to her own children, but also a strong mother figure to our students. We are all better because she is part of our staff and I appreciate her more than words can say.”

Pictured: ESS Account Manager Zach Morgan, ESS Account Manager Alece Brown, Impact Award Winner Shavontaye Diggins, ESS Senior Regional Operations Manager Brittany Mcilwaine

Lisa Naber
CLK Schools, MI

Lisa Naber has been a substitute with ESS since 2019. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 200 absences. She primarily serves CLK Elementary School within CLK Schools in Michigan. She decided to honor the school by selecting them to receive the $500 donation check.

A staff member of CLK Elementary School said: “When Lisa applied to be a substitute teacher in our elementary school she was uncertain she would be good at it – but she told herself she would give it her best try and just focus on one school, CLK Elementary. She has subbed for a couple of years now, balancing her subbing with her other part-time job as a Physical Therapy Assistant. This year she made the decision to take on more subbing at CLK Elementary and less hours at her other job. She loves teaching math and history – frequently taking math books home to make sure she  makes the most of her time helping students when in class.

She cares for all the students in the elementary – and they know and love her too. Lisa is a kind and generous person – always looking out for the kids in need.  She also looks out for teachers – dropping off food for a teacher who had surgery, helping another teacher who broke her leg. She is the definition of “Above and Beyond” and our school district is fortunate that she chose CLK Elementary to be her school.”

Pictured: ESS Regional Manager Terri Schrauben, Impact Award Winner Lina Naber

Congratulations to all of our 2023 Impact Award Honorees
Keep up the great work!