2023 Support Employee of the Year Winners

Lacee Andrew

Lacee Andrew is the FCPS School-Based Secretary of the Year. Ms. Andrew is the counseling secretary at Catoctin High School and has worked at FCPS for twelve years. She was nominated by co-worker Cameo Lawlor.

Ms. Andrew never hesitates to go above and beyond the basic expectations of her secretarial role. She carries so many hats and responsibilities at Catoctin High; she is truly a jack of all trades and has an irreplaceable knowledge and understanding of students and staff. There are many things she does throughout her day that aren't actually considered part of her job, but she jumps right in to get it done or help out. For example, Ms. Andrew helps with the test-planning logistics, school-based honor societies, student award ceremonies, graduations and so much more.This is all on top of her regular duties. If Ms. Andrew were to ever decide to leave CHS, her loss would be felt on so many levels.

It is a true pleasure to work with someone as student-centered, organized, hard-working, and professional as Ms. Andrew. Her composure and professionalism are only outweighed by her genuine sense of caring and compassion for the students with whom she works at Catoctin High. She has a strong command of technology and the ability to use it to enhance and support the counseling office tasks. She carries herself professionally, has a tremendous work ethic, and understands the ethical requirements of confidentiality, all vital components in a School Counseling office. She builds strong relationships with all stakeholders within the school community while keeping the best interests of the students in mind. Her response will always be YES when asked to do something and it will be with a genuine smile on her face.

Todd Imes

Todd Imes, Electrician, is the category winner for Central Office Maintenance Support Employee of the Year. Mr. Imes is also our overall Central Office Support Employee of the Year for 2023. He supports the Catoctin cluster and was nominated by Thurmont Middle Assistant Principal Anita Shank. Mr. Imes has been with FCPS for about 15 years.

Mr. Imes champions individual and professional excellence. He shows excellence and initiative as he goes beyond his basic job duties and addresses additional tasks to ensure our building is safe and running efficiently. When he is working, he willingly completes additional tasks such as repairing water fountains, finding/fixing ceiling leaks, and dismantling computer workstations. When we had a generator malfunction and it required emergency personnel and FCPS maintenance, Mr. lmes’ true character and dedication were demonstrated. He worked well into the evening to ensure our school would open the next day. He still arrived at work at 5:30 a.m. the next morning and ensured mechanical issues were fixed before he went to other schools. His exceptional skill and ability to problem solve has saved our school and FCPS resources. Without any prior experience and knowledge of laminators, Mr. Imes spent several hours beyond his workday exploring how to repair and then repaired two of our laminators on his own time, saving us $2,000 for a new laminator.

Mr. Imes places student growth and success as a personal priority. After work, he offers his time and talents multiple times a month to our students by co-leading a community group. As a result of Mr. Imes co-leading and fostering relationships with the students, many of these students have developed positive skills and behaviors that are visible within the school setting. One student had multiple discipline referrals at the start of the school year. After participating in this group, the student has had no referrals and appears happier and more engaged in his learning. Mr. Imes is student centered and has not only made our school structurally a better place but has positively impacted our students and the school culture.

Sheila Kahler

Sheila Kahler is the Business and Instructional Support Employee of the Year. Ms. Kahler is a grant specialist in our Early Childhood office. She has worked at FCPS for 18 years and was nominated by her supervisor, Leslie Frei.

Ms. Kahler has a reputation in her department for doing the work of two (or more) staff members. Her team is relatively new to working together, and Ms. Kahler has built strong, trusting relationships with all team members who often marvel at the great work she does in supporting the whole team. Staff in many departments throughout FCPS are aware of, and often complement, her strong work ethic and ability to take on additional responsibilities. Ms. Kahler works beyond her work day for another department to support the FAST grant. She has a reputation for efficiency and accuracy with grants and people seek her out for additional projects.

Ms. Kahler is currently managing over $9 million dollars in grants for Frederick County Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education. She takes the initiative to attend Early Learning meetings with the Maryland Department of Education so that she is aware of the broad range of programs and activities impacting early childhood at the state level, and anticipates impacts at the local level.

It's not unusual to find Ms. Kahler early in the office, and more often than not, leaving later than expected. While she works quietly and efficiently, she also brings a lighthearted presence to her team, ready to break into song or provide the lyrics to match the current situation. Ms. Kahler's dedication goes beyond the work done within the walls of her cubicle. She is always eager to help, whether it is passing out resources for families during a Judy Center event, or materials for students in the virtual blending learning program, you can always count on Ms. Kahler to lend a helping hand!

Kim Lescaleet

Kim Lescalleet has earned the Bus Assistant of the Year award. She has been a bus assistant for FCPS since 2017. Parent Bethany Hershberger nominated Ms. Lescalleet.

Not only does Ms. Lecalleet perform the duties of her job as a bus assistant, she also goes above and beyond to make sure the kids on her bus are in a loving and welcoming environment. She decorates the bus for each holiday and has stuffed animal buddies for the kids to cuddle should they need it. She comforts students when they have challenges and makes sure to communicate those issues to parents. To say Ms. Lescalleet goes above and beyond is an understatement. She put together fall buckets to give to the kids on her bus that included a pumpkin and paint. This was such a sweet gesture and something she did not have to do. It cannot be stressed how amazing Ms. Lescalleet is and the wonderful care she gives to the kids on her bus.

Ms. Lecalleet goes out of her way to celebrate student birthdays and the seasons throughout the school year. As the kids react to her when they arrive on the bus, it is undeniable that she has a special touch and relationship with each one of them. Parents love her as they see their children improve and even, for some of them, their first words are on the bus. A special needs bus is truly a special environment.

Ms. Lescalleet’s ability to keep control of a bus full of special needs children allows the driver to concentrate on the road so the children remain safe. This is very important, and she realizes that fact. She keeps her kids occupied with songs and treats-and the kids love it! They even have sing-a-longs on the bus!

Ms. Lescalleet has developed a special relationship with her kids. They respond to her in the same way children respond to their own mother. They all want her to sit with them. They all like to give and get hugs from her. Ms. Lescalleet treats each individual with respect, and with the compassion these children deserve.

Ionie Martin

Ionie Martin has earned the Special Education Instructional Assistant Support Employee of the Year award. Ms. Martin works at the Frederick Classical Charter School and has been with FCPS for close to five years. She was nominated by parents of FCCS scholars, Cortney Krauss and Jackie Kotei.

Guided by her servant’s heart, Ms. Martin seeks opportunities to support parents and scholars, meeting needs that are overlooked in a busy school environment, with a particular focus on serving the special education community. Through her encouragement, Ms. Martin has strengthened the commitment that families have to serve at FCCS. Even during nights and weekends, she answers questions and gives reminders about pertinent school information and community resources. Recently, Ms. Martin became aware of an FCCS family with car issues and she immediately jumped in to help find carpool assistance, which ensured that their scholars were able to attend school.

Ms. Martin is a fierce advocate for students and families who seek and receive special education services. Her wealth of knowledge regarding special education law, resources, parents and students’ rights, and local services is shared frequently and willingly with community members. Ms. Martin is communicative, responsive and organized. She has created project that was designed to raise funds for a sensory classroom area at the school. Because of her teamwork with staff and administration, students with sensory difficulties will be able to access strategies that are a part of evidence-based practices for growth and development.

Ms. Martin is the go-to person to serve as a substitute teacher or fill in for a teacher during a quick meeting they have to take. Ms. Martin is known for her humility and selflessness, often bringing snacks for the teachers’ lounge. Her attitude is always one of “how can I help”, and she is the first to raise her hand to contribute to the school; she is a voice of strength and empowerment for many members of the FCCS community.

Tony Platt

Anthony Platt has earned the award in the School-Based Custodian of the Year category. Mr. Platt, who is lead custodian at Walkersville Elementary, is also the overall 2023 School-Based Support Employee of the Year. He has been with FCPS for almost 15 years and was nominated by co-worker Jill McWilliams.

Mr. Platt is asked to do many things in a day, from mopping up spills, sanitizing rugs, moving furniture, waxing floors, steam-cleaning rugs, delivering supplies and so much more. When asked to do something, he will often be heard saying, "Anything for our teachers and students at WES!" He is conscientious, compassionate, positive and always has a smile. In the spring and summer months, Mr. Platt can be found frequently at school on Saturday mowing and weed-eating the grounds. In the cafeteria, he greets students by name, often walking around with an apple cutter and helping to open lunch packages. Last year, two students were coming to school with coats that were dirty and soiled. Mr. Platt noticed and took the coats one morning, washed them, and returned them to the students with a smile. A few years ago, following a significant amount of snow during the school day, Mr. Platt and another custodian cleared every car in the staff parking lot so that staff could all get home quickly and safely.

Mr. Platt not only knows student's names, he knows their stories and their interests. He is many student's trusted adult and the first person they see when they arrive to school. When our students are asked about their favorite person at Walkersville Elementary, they are quick to answer "Mr. Tony!”.

Mr. Platt’s colleagues know he will respond to requests for assistance and he has even volunteered his time to help when a different school was short staffed. He trains new custodians to the team and is quick to provide them with feedback and compliments about their work

When talking with former WES teachers, one of the things they miss about WES is Mr. Platt. They comment on how pleasant and responsive he is. They all know how lucky WES is to have Mr. Platt as their custodian!

Esther Snyder

Esther Snyder is the recipient of the Food Service Support Employee of the Year award. Ms. Snyder has worked for FCPS for 30 years and currently works at Middletown High. She was nominated by Casandra Allison, co-worker and supervisor.

Ms. Snyder goes above and beyond the basics by making sure every student, family or staff member that she comes in contact with is treated with the utmost respect. She ensures that the meals distributed through Middletown Region contain every component needed.

Ms. Snyder never misses a chance to interact with students and families, taking every opportunity to teach them about nutrition through the many varieties of fruits and vegetables offered.  She is dedicated to the happiness and nutritional wellness of our students and is known throughout the school for her commitment to the students and the high-quality products they receive each day. She is always pleasant to the students, building staff and her fellow workers. Ms. Snyder can be seen in the hallway speaking to a child by name and remembering something of interest they had spoken to her about previously. She makes sure her staff is trained, working with them individually to ensure they understand the procedures to include using equipment, cooking, cleaning and understanding the accountability process. She shows complete respect for any persons she might have contact with on a daily basis.

Ms. Snyder fills in at other schools when needed as a worker, a site assistant, or as the assistant manager.  She volunteers for other events such as Middletown High’s Empty Bowls banquet and FFA spaghetti dinners. Ms. Snyder has also filled in at other Food & Nutrition Services region schools such as Waverley Elementary, Butterfly Ridge Elementary, and Frederick High. She is consistent with checking quality of inventory being received, especially produce. She will pick up and fill in when staff Is missing with a smile on her face and a kind word for whomever she is dealing with.

Faye Zimmerman

Faye Zimmerman has been with FCPS for almost 25 years. She worked in the Legal Services Division when nominated and has since transferred to Student Services. Ms. Zimmerman is the recipient of the Central Office Secretary of the Year award and was nominated by Jamie Cannon, former Chief Legal Counsel.

Ms. Zimmerman’s wealth of skills and student-centered approach to every task she is assigned makes legal services better and stronger. She exemplifies the team’s values such as integrity and teamwork. She she’s herself as an ambassador for FCPS.

What makes Ms. Zimmerman so special is how she takes initiative to go beyond the basic duties of the job. One example of this is when she jumped in at the last minute to present a legally complex topic when the original presenter had to leave with no notice. Ms. Zimmerman did the presentation and received rave reviews.

On Board days, Ms. Zimmerman arrives at work early to ensure that anyone in the office who has responsibility to present has whatever they need. She remains available throughout the day to make sure materials are at the ready, anticipates questions that might be asked, watches the meeting and prepares for what the Board is seeking next. Even when her folks are not on the agenda, Ms. Zimmerman watches the meeting. When asked why she does this she responds, “how can I be an ambassador if I don’t see the bigger picture of how we are to serve our students?”

Finally, to demonstrate Ms. Zimmerman’s exceptional skills and attitude she brings to her job, some Cabinet members have coined the phrase “Does it meet the ‘Faye standard?’” This means it has been researched, proofread from all angles, vetted to key stakeholders and is ready for the world to see. Another nickname she has earned is “Legal Services Library of Congress” based on her archival skills and ability to quickly retrieve key information.

One of her co-workers stated that “Faye is a leader among the Executive Assistants!” Ms. Zimmerman is a tremendous asset to FCPS.