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Gilbert Public Schools 2018–2019 Employees of the Year Winners!

This week Gilbert Public Schools celebrated the many incredible talents and contributions of staff who support and educate our 34,000 students every day. The Employee of the Year Banquet is now in its second year and is designed to recognize outstanding contributions to our students and schools by all employee classifications; certified teachers, support staff, and administrators.

A committee representing all employee classifications reviewed the 115 nominations to create a shortlist of three employees from each category. These nine finalists were then interviewed and submitted an additional application, highlighting their candidacy. The winner in each category was announced Thursday, April 25, 2019, at a special event held at the DoubleTree Hilton in Gilbert, Arizona.

Recognizing all staff roles is a fundamental part of this event as it epitomizes the organizational culture in GPS, acknowledging it takes all employees to educate and support our students Pre-K through 12th grade.

Announcing the 2018–2019 Gilbert Public Schools Employees of the Year Winners:

Gilbert Public Schools 2018–2019 Employees of the Year Winners!

Administrator of the Year
Chad Fitzgerald
Principal, Canyon Valley High School

"It is a joy to come to work each morning because this is a happy place. The students who thrive here are typically kids who did not see a great deal of success in more traditional, large high schools. As Mr. Fitzgerald's and Canyon Valley's reputations have grown, we have attracted students from other districts across the Valley. Canyon Valley is a school that holds our students accountable in a supportive, safe way. This is because of Chad Fitzgerald."

Teacher of the Year
Lee Meschino
Music Teacher, Islands Elementary

“Lee Meschino regularly inspires students' love of learning through her highly engaging, interactive, relevant lessons. She greets students with a smile and hug, keeps her energy level high, relates their learning of music to careers and their learning in the classroom, and she closes her lessons with the same high energy and positive send off that she greets them with."

Support Staff of the Year
Louise Heeman
Social Worker, Gilbert Elementary

"She is the heart and soul of our school. Louise knows the name of every child, but not only that, she knows about every child. She knows who probably didn't eat breakfast that morning, who is struggling with issues at home, who has a medical condition that is bringing them down, who needs warm clothes for the winter or new shoes, or who is having conflicts with peers. She knows their personalities, their needs, and she sees the best in every child. She genuinely cares for each and every student with every ounce of who she is."

Gilbert Public Schools Emplpoyees of the Year 2018–2019
The Gilbert Public Schools Teacher of the Year winner will also be nominated by Gilbert Public Schools for the Arizona Educational Foundation’s (AEF) Teacher of the Year Program. Each year AEF spotlights the contributions of ten outstanding public school teachers throughout Arizona, where one is named the AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year, and represents the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

Congratulations to all!