Four Dearborn Public School staff members including a custodian, an instructional technician, a social responsibility room supervisor, and a bus dispatcher were honored as Impact Award winners on Tuesday night.
This is the fifth year for Impact Awards, which honor outstanding staff who go above and beyond in their service to the Dearborn Public Schools community. The winners include Lisa Demarco, an instructional technician at the Dearborn Heights Campus; Mark Badalucco, custodian at Fordson High School; Ricardo Sotres, a transportation dispatcher; and Manal Hammoud, who works in the social responsibility room at Dearborn High.
“We are delighted to recognize these employees for their hard work and dedication to our students. Our teachers, parents and students are often celebrated for student success, as they should be, but as a District, we know that it takes dedication from every employee in every role to help our students reach their full potential,” said Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.
Lisa Demarco was nominated by fellow employees and a student. She has been with the district for 19 years, starting as a noon hour supervisor overseeing students at lunch time. As an instructional technician, she assists different classes at the Heights Campus from special education classrooms at Howe School to the Magnet High School.
One of her nominators said Demarco “embodies the true definition of what a Dearborn employee should be. She shows compassion, fairness, works above and beyond and puts her students first.”
Mark Badalucco has worked as a custodian in the District since 2013. He was honored for his hard work keeping the school in great shape, his positive attitude and his support of the students.
“You can see his smiling face at football games and track meets, regardless of snow or heat. The students look for him to be there, and it is obvious they appreciate his presence,” his nomination said.
Ricardo Sotres started as a bus driver with the district in 1994 and worked his way up to dispatcher. His nomination letter described him as “the kindest, most dedicated and most loyal employee that I have ever had the pleasure to work with.” During the polar vortex last winter, Sotres came to work in place of mechanics, who could not make it in. He labored in the bitter cold to get buses started to ensure the district could have school the next day.
“He shows up to work every day with a positive and outgoing attitude that reverberates throughout the entire department,” his nomination letter said.
Manal Hammoud, as supervisor of the social responsibility room, often deals with students who have had behavior issues elsewhere in school. In her nomination letter, it was clear some of these students who otherwise felt disconnected at school, made a connection to her, and from her, found a new drive to succeed.
“She greets me every day and always has a smile on her face,” one student wrote, adding later, “she pushed me to make up all my missing work and credits, and now I’m able to graduate this year with my class. She is an amazing person and a great asset to Dearborn High.”
More than 90 nominations were received for this year’s awards. Impact Awards can honor any district employee outside the main classroom teachers. The awards were developed to compliment the Alberta Muirhead Teacher of the Year Awards, which recognize core classroom teachers from preschool through high school. Impact Awards are intended to recognize other employees who provide outstanding service to the District’s school community.
The award winners were announced during the Dearborn Education Foundation’s annual Green Tie Dinner on Tuesday. The dinner is also a chance to recognize the Foundation’s supporters and for the organization to give out several scholarships to Dearborn Public School students. Tuesday’s event was held at The Henry in Dearborn.