September 18, 2017
September in the Wakulla County school system means the first awards for the new school year. Two Teachers of the Month and one Employee of the Month were honored at the September 18 School Board Meeting.
First, Shadeville Elementary teacher Kay Reeves was selected by her peers as the September 2017 Teacher of the Month. Embarking on her twenty-fifth year of teaching, she starts her tenth year at Shadeville Elementary.
Reeves earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University after earning an Associate of Arts degree at Tallahassee Community College.
Her first 15 years were spent teaching fourth graders at Woodville Elementary before coming to Shadeville, where she also taught fourth grade for four years. Now she is in her sixth year of teaching second graders.
“My sister convinced me that Wakulla County Schools were the best anywhere and that I should apply for a teaching position in Wakulla County,” Reeves explains. “She had two children in the system and spoke very highly of the school district. I applied and was hired as a fourth grade teacher. I have been living a life-long dream ever since.”
In addition to teaching, Reeves also has served on Shadeville Elementary’s School Advisory Council, Yearbook Committee, and has been Team Leader on the Reading Leadership Council for four years.
Her family jokes that she arrives at Shadeville “before the chickens stir” and doesn’t leave without preparing for the next day. In her ten years at Shadeville, she has missed only one day. She describes her job as “immensely rewarding” saying, “To quote Confucius, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ “
Notes Shadeville Principal Nick Weaver, “Each morning she has a smile on her face and when she leaves, that smile is still there. Mrs. Reeves enjoys her students and colleagues and works hard for both.”
The second September Teacher of the Month award goes to Sonia Clark-Rosier of Wakulla High School.
Clark-Rosier was selected by her peers not only for a job well done as an Associate Dean/Student Advisor in the WHS Guidance Department, but also for the outstanding job she does coordinating the annual Black History Month activities and gala.
She is also Chairman of the WHS Diversity Committee; Advisor to The Next Level Scholarship Club; Coordinator of the WHS Fall College and Career Day; and a volunteer for the Special Olympics.
“Having the opportunity to develop the WHS Diversity Committee in 2015 has truly been my greatest accomplishment. For the first time, after 40 years, our committee was able to convince the first WHS African American valedictorian, Mr. Alvin Hall, to return to WHS and invest in our students. This investment has resulted in a greater awareness by our students, a culture shift, and an annual scholarship,” she says.
A graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology/Political Science, she also earned Master’s degrees from Florida State University in Public Administration and from Amridge University in Marriage and Family Counseling. She then earned certification in Exceptional Student Education to be able to teach in 2004 after 10 years working for the state.
Notes WHS Principal Mike Barwick, “Wakulla High School could not be as successful as it is without the dedication and hard work of Ms. Sonia Clark-Rosier. A relentless worker, she truly cares about the individual needs of each student. This is evident in the many programs that she has created and currently sponsors. She, along with Ms. Tanesia Porter, have completely transformed our Black History Month Program into a community-wide event that our whole county celebrates and can be proud of. She is truly a class act.”
The September 2017 Employee of the Month is Jollivet Holmes from Wakulla’s Pre-Kindergarten program.
A product of Wakulla County Schools, “Ms. Jolli”, as she’s called at Pre-K, attended Shadeville Elementary, Sopchoppy Elementary, and graduated from Wakulla High School when it housed grades 7 through 12.
She then earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) certification in order to work at the Wakulla Pre-K where she’s taught since 1987.
Holmes actually began working in the Wakulla County school system as a 15-year-old through a Wakulla High School work/study program that placed her at her former school Sopchoppy Elementary.
“I love working with children,” Holmes says. “It has always been a passion ever since I was young. As a child, I would gather all my younger cousins and neighbor children and teach them in the side yard. I would bribe them by buying candy with the money I earned baiting worms. Occasionally I will run into students from this make-believe classroom who remembered me teaching them how to write their names and count.”
Notes Pre-K Principal Laura Kelley, “Ms. Jolli is a seasoned CDA who knows the developmental milestones of young children very well. She is a firm but very loving and affectionate teacher who sets high expectations for all of her students and enjoys creating memorable lessons for them. With more than 30 years of experience sharing her love and talents with our littlest learners in the school system, I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”
All three recipients were awarded plaques at the September 18 School Board Meeting. Says Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “These three ladies are true gems of our school system. And the most telling part of these awards is that their peers who see them in action every day selected them. They are definitely three outstanding people who teach from the heart.”