ACPS honors employees of the year

Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) held its first School Related Employee of the Year (SREY) in-person awards ceremony since 2019 on Tuesday.

The event took place at the Ironwood Golf Course in Gainesville and recognized the district’s 44 SREY nominees, including 2022 districtwide winner Julie Rye of Santa Fe High School in Alachua. Prior winners Rudy Mann (2020) and Tameka Rollins (2021) also spoke at the program.

Each honoree received gifts donated by the community and a check for $110, representing the 110 percent they give to their jobs. Elevated Design and Construction, Scorpio and the Florida Credit Union were the primary event sponsors.

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According to an ACPS release, Rye has served as the Santa Fe clerical assistant for the past seven years, but has deep ties to the school. Rye, her parents, and her son all graduated from Santa Fe, and she has a daughter who is a current student.

“Serving in such a role can be demanding and stressful,” Sante Fe principal Tim Wright said in a statement. “But Julie makes parents and students feel welcomed and valued. She listens intently to their questions and reassures them that she’ll help them with their situation.”

In addition to her front office work, Rye sponsors a number of student groups and teams, including student government and the junior and senior classes. She also helps with evening and weekend school functions, attends sporting events, concerts, fundraisers and other student activities both on and off campus, according to the district.

“I love being a part of their lives,” Rye said. “I hope it inspires them to see that I care about them whether they’re at school or out in the community.”

Rye will represent ACPS in the Florida School Related Employee of the Year program.

“I’m very honored,” Rye said of her selection. “I feel really appreciated.”

ACPS established the SREY awards program in 1993 to recognize standout education support professionals in the district, including paraprofessionals, custodians, bus drivers, clerical workers and many others.

The list of 2022 ACPS School Related Employees of the Year nominees included:

  • Deanna Griffis, Alachua Elementary
  • Summer Florence, Archer Elementary
  • Eliza Gray, Chiles Elementary
  • Jennifer Caldwell, Foster Elementary
  • Elizabeth Minsavage, Glen Springs Elementary
  • Jessica Shaw, Hidden Oak Elementary
  • Paige Coyle, High Springs Community
  • Cynthia Scott, Idylwild Elementary
  • Jacquelyn Turner, Irby Elementary
  • Heather Lovell, Lake Forest Elementary
  • Bayle Adams, Littlewood Elementary
  • Bryan Truax, Meadowbrook Elementary
  • Mary Renfroe, Metcalfe Elementary
  • Molly Jeffcoat, Newberry Elementary
  • Chandra Folston, Norton Elementary
  • Crystal Griffin, Parker Elementary
  • Malik Griffins, Rawlings Elementary
  • Shakenya Ivey, Shell Elementary
  • Damitria “Dee” Stone, Talbot Elementary
  • Danielle Norman, Terwilliger Elementary
  • Lee E. Givens, Jr., Wiles Elementary
  • Alexis Jackson, Williams Elementary
  • Billy Duncan, Bishop Middle
  • Briana Banks, Ft. Clarke Middle
  • Rosetta Blackshear, Kanapaha Middle
  • Cherie Jenkins, Lincoln Middle School
  • James Caldwell, Mebane Middle
  • Phylisa Ware, Oak View Middle
  • David Tosana, Westwood Middle
  • James Bessent, Buchholz High
  • Lillie Singleton, Eastside High
  • Albert Luis Alvarez, Gainesville High
  • Linda Funston, Hawthorne Middle/High
  • Loretta Foster, PAM @ Loften High
  • Chrissy Tyner, Newberry High
  • Julie Rye, Santa Fe High (Districtwide winner for 2022)
  • Preston White, A. Quinn Jones Center
  • Ashley Burnett, Sidney Lanier Center
  • Laura Bolte, Benefits Department
  • Charmeidia O’Neal, Equity & Inclusion Department
  • Drew Patton, Facilities Department
  • Jeanne Stanley, Human Resources Division
  • Angie Chesser, Security Department
  • Courtney Bartley, Transportation Department

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