Woodland Public Schools celebrates Employees of Excellence with a year-end award ceremony and special video competition

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The staff of Woodland Public Schools celebrated the end of the school year at a special staff luncheon featuring the second annual Employee of Excellence Awards and a special video competition where employee teams created music videos with new spins on their favorite songs.

Woodland Public Schools celebrates the end of the school year with the Employee of Excellence Awards and a special music video competition
Woodland Public Schools celebrates the end of the school year with the Employee of Excellence Awards and a special music video competition 

To end each school year, Woodland Public Schools employees gather for a special BBQ lunch hosted by district administrators and partake in a ceremony honoring that year's Employee of Excellence Award winners. This year's award winners are D'Ann Horrocks from WEA; Judy Lute from SEIU; Michelle McLaughlin from WSA; and Cathy Nielsen from KWRL.

The Employee of Excellence Awards are held at a special year-end BBQ luncheon hosted by district administrators (pictured: Jake Hall, WMS Principal; John Shoup, WHS Principal; and Dan Uhlenkott, WHS Assistant Principal and TEAM High Principal)
The Employee of Excellence Awards are held at a special year-end BBQ luncheon hosted by district administrators (pictured: Jake Hall, WMS Principal; John Shoup, WHS Principal; and Dan Uhlenkott, WHS Assistant Principal and TEAM High Principal) 

The ceremony committee established a new tradition of a special video competition this year, encouraging staff members to form teams to create music videos featuring variations of their favorite songs edited to humorous footage. This year's winning team, a group of cafeteria employees, put together a hilarious music video set to comedian Adam Sandler's song, "Lunchlady Land." The winning video was posted to YouTube where it has received more than 1,500 views: https://goo.gl/QwBdrs.

Several district cafeteria employees teamed up to create a special music video set to comedian Adam Sandler's song, "Lunchlady Land"
Several district cafeteria employees teamed up to create a special music video set to comedian Adam Sandler's song, "Lunchlady Land" 

Woodland Public Schools introduced the Employee of Excellence Awards at the end of the 2015-2016 school year to recognize and celebrate the excellent service that district staff provides to students. "School employees don't join our schools to become rich or famous – they choose a career in education for the love of the kids," explained Asha Riley, Assistant Superintendent. "Our service to kids is its own reward, and, as a result, we aren't great at stopping to celebrate each other's achievements; these awards are a way to recognize and publicly celebrate acts of excellence in service to our students."

A small committee including district administrators and every union leader started meeting in the 2015-2016 school year to establish the Employee of Excellence Awards. "We decided an award ceremony should become an annual tradition," said Riley. "The committee collaborated to create a number of awards and recognitions that would be presented at the end-of-year luncheon every year."

The committee established a number of criteria in order to select the winner for each category. "The selection committee assesses each nominee's positive and caring attributes including contributions to a productive work environment, exceptional effort, and performance," explained Riley. "The committee chooses the winning nominee from each employee group who demonstrates the highest level of excellence using those standards." The award winners receive a special plaque recognizing their accomplishment presented in front of the entire district staff at the year-end celebration. "The plaque is definitely very nice, to be certain, however the applause and recognition from their coworkers provides the deepest level of appreciation," said Riley.

Candidates are selected from nominations made by district staff and community members. "Reviewing the nominations is so fantastic as the community and staff truly values the hard work of our employees," said Riley. "Each year, the quality of all our nominees makes it difficult to select just one winner per category because there are simply so many amazing people serving our students." District staff and community members can nominate employees for the Employee of Excellence Awards online at: https://goo.gl/J6EC96.

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