The Marana Unified School District named a trio of employees their 2017 MUSD Employees of the Year with surprise announcements at each winner’s work sites throughout the month of January.
MUSD Superintendent Doug Wilson and district leadership team members awarded their Teacher of the Year, Support Staff of the Year and Administrator of the Year awards separately.
The three will formally be recognized at the Marana School’s 2340 Foundation during the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation Celebration of Excellence luncheon in March as well as at a May MUSD Governing Board Meeting.
Teacher of the Year
Beth Gapp was the district’s Teacher of the Year. The Quail Run Elementary School speech and language pathologist has built a reputation as being an advocate for students and is committed to supporting “each individual in making continued academic and social progress.”
The 24-year veteran of MUSD was recognized in 2016 by ArSHA as their Speech and Language Pathologist of the year due to her “ongoing commitment to educational excellence.”
She has also built a reputation for going above and beyond what is expected, including making flash cards for students to continue to progress at home, creating extra learning opportunities to “enhance speed production” and building confidence in her students so that they do better in school. Parent praise her for making her lessons fun and trying to make changes that instill “life changing” confidences.
“Mrs. Gapp is an inspiration to all because of her willingness to go above and beyond,” the district said in a release. “Mrs. Gapp is passionate about the work she does and about her desire to develop the talents of future educators.”
Support Staff of the Year
Johnnie Edmond is the Support Staff of the Year. Known as “Mr. Johnnie” he serves as Thornydale Elementary’s crossing guard. Edwards earned his recognition not so much for his work within the crosswalk, but what he does within the school.
“Johnnie Edmond goes above and beyond each day to make connections, help students, and brighten everyone’s day,” the release said.
Edmond starts each morning greeting the teachers and the rest of the staff before heading out to his crossing guard duties. Once the school day starts, then Edmond heads to the classroom to help out wherever he can. Some days he helps tutor, others he is leading a “reader’s theater” or just offering support.
Maybe Edmond’s greatest role is that of a surrogate family member at school events. If a child is going to win an award or be honored at an assembly and does not have family present, Edmond is there to make sure someone is on hand to cheer for the student.
Administrator of the Year
Tamara Crawley, the district’s director of public relations, was named Administrator of the Year. Whenever something positive or negative happens in the district, Crawley is usually the voice of the district.
“She fields all inquiries and differences with dignity and grace, representing the district with pride and professionalism while extending understanding and empathy to any given situation,” the district wrote in a release.
She has been with the district for 13 years and has been the go-to for not only the press, but for school staff and administrators. She has been known to respond to an issue while sick or even on vacation.
Like her fellow award winners, Crawley goes beyond the regular scope of her job description. Before getting into public relations, she pursued a degree in social work and has put that degree to work during times of crisis.
When the district did not have a safety director during a recent budget crunch, Crawley stepped up to fill part of that role. When emergency response guidelines changed, Crawley took on the responsibility of writing a new Emergency Response Manual, which she estimated she spent “hundreds of hours” researching and writing at night and on weekends.
“Crawley is clearly a respected, trusted, and knowledgeable source of information and assistance,” the district said. “Her eagerness to assist inspires others to exceed their perceived limitations, exercise creative options, and provide a kind educational environment for our students.”