Congratulations to Our November Employees of the Month!

Each month, our partner school districts submit glowing reviews of our employees, from which we select four employees of the month. We’re pleased to recognize our honorees from November 2020!

Tanya Sprague
Port Huron Area School District, MI

Tanya was nominated by Port Huron School District Principal Charles Lesser, who wrote: “Tanya has been subbing for a first-grade teacher on maternity leave since September. She has met and exceeded all expectations of her position. Tanya has been there every day to make sure kids have what they need emotionally, socially, and academically. Tanya has administered all district assessments, then used those to form reading groups. She has learned how to teach in-person as well as connect with students online to engage in learning activities via Zoom.

When the school closed and we switched to remote learning, Tanya delivered reading and math activity books to those unable to retrieve them from school. Tanya collaborated with her grade level colleagues and district curriculum specialists to make sure she was employing best practices for learning and thinking. Tanya has never waivered in her delivery or approach to caring for students in a pandemic. She has been there every day for students and parents whether it’s early in the morning or late at night. Tanya is more than a substitute, she is a team member and we cherish her for that.”

Krystal Dooley
Washington County School District, 

Krystal was nominated by Washington County School District Principal Bradley Bench, who wrote: “Krystal originally signed on to substitute as our front office receptionist/secretary for three days. We were impressed immediately with her cheerful attitude and professional demeanor.  She learned the responsibilities of the position very quickly as it was explained to her and ran with it. She asked multiple times if there was more she could do to help out. She interacted very well with our visiting guests, parents, and students.

After watching her work the first two days, we were so impressed with what we saw that we asked her to extend her assignment with us for multiple days. She was happy and gracious in doing so. After working with her, I told her if she ever applied for a full-time position in our district and wanted a letter of recommendation or a good word from me, I would be happy to provide it (I do not usually offer this to substitute employees unless I am really impressed with the work they have done in our school). In the future, if we need a substitute for one of our secretaries, Krystal will be the first person we call. She did an absolutely outstanding job for us.”

DeLacey Peshlakai
Central Consolidated School District, NM

DeLacey was nominated by Central Consolidated School District Principal Jenifer Hufman, who wrote: “DeLacey is currently serving in a long-term sub position as an Educational Aide in our Pre-K program. She makes each day a joy for kids and adults alike. She is so willing to serve and uses a gentle guiding touch for our youngest learners. She also mentors and nurtures our teacher, who is in her first year of teaching Pre-K. DeLacey’s wealth of experience in early childhood education and her own experience as a parent allows her to model great practice.

For example, when the Pre-K teacher suggested marking a student absent because she wasn’t present for a Zoom meeting, DeLacey hit the pause button. She suggested reaching out to the parent and grandparent to try to figure out why the student wasn’t present. Come to find out, there had been a positive Covid case, and the family was dealing with that. DeLacey made a plan with the family to support the students’ learning and relayed this information to the teacher. Her willingness to work and understand makes DeLacey a huge asset to our learners, especially during these times.”

Michael Leissa
Clover School District, SC

Michael was nominated by Oakridge Elementary School Special Education Teacher Ali Young, who wrote: “Mr. Leissa was the long-term sub in my resource classroom while I was on maternity leave. My leave had been planned for months; what was not planned was my doctor putting me on bedrest one week early (after the first week of school). Unfortunately, I did not have much ready for Mr. Leissa.

Being thrown into the classroom on short notice did not throw off Mr. Leissa. He worked closely with the administrative team and other special education teachers to plan lessons and fine-tune my daily schedule of services, so he could best support the students as they worked on their IEP goals. Mr. Leissa even went so far as to attend six hours of virtual professional development trainings on a Direct Instruction program, so he could use it with the students.

When I returned to school after nine weeks, I was elated to hear that Mr. Leissa had spoken with my principal so he could be at the school on my first day back. He spent the day working with the students and showing me the ropes of what had been taught in my classroom while I was gone. Mr. Leissa was respectful of my classroom and all students and staff members at OES. He even went so far as to replace a ‘Don’t Make Me Use My Teacher Voice’ slate coaster on my desk that accidentally broke. I cannot begin to fully explain how appreciative I am for Mr. Leissa. Thanks to him, I did not have to worry about my classroom or students at all while I was out. He truly is an exceptional substitute and teacher.”

Congratulations and keep up the excellent work!