Orleans/Niagara BOCES names employees of the year

Posted 2 October 2019 at 2:15 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

The school year at Orleans/Niagara BOCES started on a great note with the announcement of its 2018-2019 Employees of the Year. District Superintendent, Dr. Clark Godshall, announced the winners at the opening day celebration at the North Tonawanda High School.

Anne Carnahan

Anne Carnahan, a Cosmetology teacher at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, was named the Teacher of the Year.

“I have been lucky enough to have worked at our career and technical centers for 14 years,” Carnhan said. “I began my career here as a substitute teacher and then was able to work as a teacher’s aide for four years, rotating between almost all of the classrooms. My teaching career began in 2011 in the Cosmetology Department at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center and after two years there, I transferred to Orleans Career and Technical Education Center. Through all the years I have been with this organization, I have been blessed to work with absolutely amazing co-workers, friends and students. We call ourselves a “family” and it is so evident that even by the students notice and make mention of it.”

Anne says she has always had a passion doing hair.  “Even though I still work part-time at a salon, I find a greater satisfaction in teaching my students my trade,” she said. “One of my favorite parts of teaching is, during a lesson, when the students all feel they can’t master it, and then, the lightbulb goes off. They get that look in their eyes and the pride in their smiles as they realize that they can accomplish anything with practice and determination.  My goal each year is not to just teach cosmetology, but to help them get ready for “the real world”.   So many of my kids come back after graduation and share their new life experiences and thank me for helping them with their goals.”

She says she is both honored and shocked that she was chosen to be “Teacher of the Year.”  “There are so many more deserving people that I work with. I would like to thank whoever nominated me and also say that I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of people.”

Paulette Hamilton-Koehler

The Administrator of the Year was Paulette Hamilton-Koehler, coordinator at the Royalton-Hartland Learning Center. She has been with Orleans/Niagara BOCES for 18 years.

“My favorite part of my job is being privileged to work with the children that come to our school,” she said. “I am so appreciative to have been nominated to receive this award. I have been fortunate to work with the special education administrative team, the vision and hearing teachers, counselors and the staff at the Roy-Hart Learning Center. I am privileged to work with the hardest working, compassionate and caring staff that I have ever worked with. Making a difference in the lives of our students and their families at the BOCES has been my dream career and I could have never have done it alone.”

Judy Bennett

The Clerical Person of the Year is Judy Bennett, who works at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center. She has been with BOCES for 10 years.

“My favorite part of my job is interacting with the students, teachers and all the amazing staff at Orleans/Niagara BOCES,” Bennett said. “I was in shock when I heard my name being called by Dr. Godshall. I am honored that someone nominated me among all of the outstanding clerical staff that I work with. It takes everyone coming together as a team to accomplish our jobs. I will work hard to uphold the title ‘Employee of the Year.’”

Greg Klopfer

The Custodian/Maintenance Person of the Year is Greg Klopfer. Greg has worked for BOCES for 20 years.

“I really enjoy driving around as a courier and getting to stop at all our sites and talk to everyone for a few moments a day,” he said. “We have such amazing staff here. It was such an awesome feeling to know that my peers nominated me as an employee of the year. I am so grateful to them.”

Susan Diemert

The Staff Specialist of the Year is Susan Diemert, who has worked at BOCES for more than three decades.

“I have worked at BOCES for 32 years and started as a GED teacher before becoming a Staff Specialist in 2002,” Diemert said. “My favorite part of the job is watching youth and adults achieve their goals every day. Whether it is to obtain a high school equivalency diploma, become employed, enter post-secondary, find housing, learn English, or enroll in a training program, we see positive outcomes that will help the individual move forward to improve his or her life. The incredible adult literacy staff provides a coordinated program that helps students overcome barriers and gain success. This past year we had 169 students receive their high school equivalency diploma and hundreds obtaining jobs and training. I am very fortunate to have a job that is challenging and rewarding. I am much honored to receive the Employee of the Year award for a job I love.”

Ann Stimm

Substitute of the Year is Ann Stimm, who was hired as a substitute clerical person in October 2018. In March 2019, she began a five-month assignment at the North Tonawanda Learning Center and was reassigned in August as a substitute account clerk typist at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center. 5

“What I enjoy most is being able to share my years of business and secretarial experience to make filling in a seamless transition,” Stimm said. “I enjoy meeting all of the wonderful employees and students of Orleans/Niagara BOCES.  When I opened the letter from Dr. Godshall, I was shocked, elated and proud to be recognized. I would like to thank BOCES for this recognition and my peers who took the time to write a letter on my behalf.”

Maggie Lupo

Teacher Aide of the Year is Maggie Lupo, who has worked at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center since 2004.

“I started as a personal care aide,” Lupo said. “I then worked as a special education teacher aide until 2011. I came to the Orleans Career and Technical Educational Center in January of 2011, where I am currently working as a Diesel Tech teacher aide and helping out where I am needed.  I enjoy my work very much. I am fortunate to have work that I really take much satisfaction from. My favorite part of the job is the people! The students love coming to school here and that just makes work enjoyable. My co-workers are some of the best educators you could ever work with! They care about the students and their futures and this is evident on a daily basis. I was quite surprised to be selected as employee of the year. I was very honored and humbled to receive such a recognition. This positive affirmation will help guide me though the semesters ahead.”

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