The Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education recognized the awardees for Community Pillar, Food Service Employee of the Year, and Transportation Employee of the Year at Thursday night’s meeting.
Tonya Barr received the second annual Community Pillar award. As the School/Juvenile Court Liaison, she offers support for the 263 students involved in the Owensboro-Daviess County court system.
To date Barr has supported students through 147 truancy hearings and created a Check and Connect Program which offers resources to 30 students and parents who need extra support.
Barr said that her favorite part of her job is the kids.
“I really want to see students succeed,” Barr said. “For some it’s their attendance and going from missing 20 days to having perfect attendance for the next quarter or semester. Success is getting your diploma.”
Barr also thanked OPS, Daviess County Public Schools, and the local court system for sharing in her passion for student success.
Meanwhile, Leslie Wedding was the first ever honoree for Food Service Employee of the Year.
Wedding is an employee at Estes Elementary who was said to have gone above and beyond in all aspects of her job this past school year.
Like Barr, Wedding mentioned her love for the students.
“I just love them all,” Wedding said. “It’s hard not to put them under your wing.”
Wedding said she already has a plan for the upcoming year, which will include costumes and fun surprises.
The third award when to Tonya Boarman, who was named Transportation Employee of the Year.
Boarman is a full-time bus driver completing morning and afternoon routes. In addition, she shuttles students from Owensboro Innovation Middle School to Owensboro Middle School mid-day.
“I have some middle schoolers that show me respect and dignity,” Boarman said. “They give me hugs, they acknowledge me even out in public, and to me that means more than anything I’ve done.”