Board Honors School Support Employees of the Year

photo of 2019 employees of the year

2019 Overall employees of the year: Terry Eskuchen and Sharen Gartrell

Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban announced the names of the 2019 School-Based and Central Office Support Employees of the Year at last night’s Board of Education meeting. They are Terry Eskuchen and Sharen Gartrell. She also announced the winners in six other Support Employee of the Year categories.

The FCPS Support Employees of the Year program recognizes outstanding members of the school system’s support staff in eight broad job categories. Two of the category winners are selected to receive the overall FCPS Central Office and School-Based Support Employee of the Year awards. The two overall winners receive a cash award, a personal day off, special trophy and Board of Education pin.  

Terry Eskuchen, School-Based Secretary of the Year, is the overall 2019 School-Based Support Employee of the Year. A secretary at Tuscarora High School, she has been with FCPS more than 20 years. 
“Terry expertly manages athletics program finances, bus transportation, coach contracts, certification requirements, and more,” said Superintendent Alban. “In addition to her exceptional work supporting the athletics program, she handles all school facility and field trip requests. She helps prepare the school newsletter. The institutional knowledge Terry brings to her position, having worked at THS when it first opened in 2003, is invaluable,” she added.

Invaluable is a word that also describes Sharen Gartrell’s work, as she consistently goes above and beyond the basic duties of her job. Named Business Support Employee of the Year, Gartrell is the overall 2019 Central Office Support Employee of the Year. Working in the System Accountability and School Improvement Department, “Sharen is a great resource to students and staff in preparing for state assessments. She consistently looks to educate herself on changes in testing programs, graduation, and college and career requirements. Her patience and expertise in answering questions demonstrate her belief that all questions are worth asking and answering,” said the Superintendent. 

Earning the other six awards for 2019 support employees and receiving trophies at the BOE meeting were: Sharon Botkin, Bus Driver of the Year; Renee Brandenburg-Huffer, Central Office Maintenance Employee of the Year; Melinda Dobbie, Food Service Employee of the Year, from Liberty Elementary; Shelley Dowling, Central Office Secretary of the Year, from the System Accountability and School Improvement Department; Deborah Holford, School-Based Instructional Assistant of the Year, from Heather Ridge School; and Melvin Shafer, School-Based Custodian of the Year, from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School.

photo of Central Office employees of the year

Left to right: Overall Central Office Support Employee of the Year and Business Support Employee of the Year Sharen Gartrell; Bus Driver of the Year Sharon Botkin; Food Service Employee of the Year Melinda Dobbie, from Liberty Elementary; Instructional Assistant of the Year Deborah Holford, from Heather Ridge; Custodian of the Year Melvin Shafer, from Gov. Thomas Johnson High School; Maintenance Employee of the Year Renee Brandenburg-Huffer; Central Office Secretary of the Year Shelley Dowling; Overall School-Based Support Employee of the Year and School-Based Secretary of the Year Terry Eskuchen