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Waco ISD announces Employees of the Month for November 2020

Waco ISD is thrilled to announce its Employees of the Month for November 2020! The Employee of the Month program was first launched in February, but subsequently put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the program was relaunched this fall, an impressive 83 submissions were received for the first round of the 2020-2021 school year. Although the initial intent was to recognize one employee each in the categories of professional staff and paraprofessional/support staff, the high number of nominations highlighting and celebrating the hard work and dedication of staff across the district, coupled with the months-long hiatus, warranted the selection of two employees in each category. The nominations praised positive attitudes, teamwork, commitment and the various ways staff members have worked to navigate both in-person and remote instruction this fall. Congratulations to the following employees who were selected as Waco ISD Employees of the Month for November 2020!
 
Waco ISD Employees of the Month - November 2020
 
Paraprofessional/Support Staff
Clara Palacio
Clerk - Facilities & Maintenance Department
 
Pamela Williams
RESET Aide - West Avenue Elementary
 
Professional Staff
Lacey Merrifield
Biology teacher and volleyball coach - University High School
 
Rhiannon Settles
Director of Health Services - Waco ISD
 
About the honorees...
 
Clara Palacio, a clerk for the facilities and maintenance department, was selected because she is "the ultimate team player" whose "uplifting attitude" sets the tone for the office. A graduate of University High School, Clara takes great pride in her job and is considered a vital part of the department's operations. Her nomination noted that her performance speaks for itself and her "[positivity] actually brings the best out of others."
 
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Clara Palacio - Clerk, Facilities & Maintenance Department
 
Pamela Williams, a RESET aide at West Avenue Elementary School, was selected because she goes above and beyond daily. In addition to serving on the campus' behavior team and the duties assigned with the role, Pamela also provides wisdom, encouragement and a listening ear to her coworkers. She has always "found the sunny side of life" and her nominator considers her irreplaceable due to the impact she's made on West Avenue students, parents and staff.
 
Pamela Williams - RESET Aide, West Avenue Elementary School
Pamela Williams - RESET Aide, West Avenue Elementary School
 
Lacey Merrifield is a biology teacher and volleyball coach at University High School who has stepped up this year to navigate remote learning. She has become the resident "Canvas expert" at the campus, working across departments to assist other teachers with the new learning management system, creating videos and sharing resources. She is consistently willing to assist her colleagues, always with the ultimate goal of helping students succeed. In addition to her teaching and coaching roles, she also serves as the biology team lead and is considered "truly extraordinary."
 
 
Clara Palacio - Clerk, Facilities & Maintenance Department
Lacey Merrifield - Biology teacher and volleyball coach, University High School
 
Rhiannon Settles serves as director of health services for the district and, according to the nomination, she's also "Wonder Woman!" Rhiannon's role has shifted over the past eight months to include managing and guiding the district through COVID-19 health and safety protocols, contact tracing and rapid testing, but her nominator notes she is always very positive and kind and is generous with her time and energy. Rhiannon leads the district's team of nurses with "such strength and broad knowledge" and "exemplifies what a leader should be."
 
Rhiannon Settles - Director of Health Services, Waco ISD
Rhiannon Settles - Director of Health Services, Waco ISD
 
Congratulations to each of these outstanding employees!
Waco ISD is honored to recognize you, and the district thanks you for CHOOSING Waco ISD!