OCPS is celebrating the local finalists for the 2022-23 Support Person of the Year. The Support Person of the Year award honors educational support personnel for the contributions they make to their schools, district-level sections, units, and departments.
The finalists are…
Jenny Morgan, Sally Ride Elementary
Parent Engagement Liaison
For the past four years, Jenny Morgan has served as Parent Engagement Liaison at Sally Ride Elementary, engaging with students, staff and parents to support school involvement. As one of the first school contacts for families and community members, her natural knack for compassion allows Morgan to ensure everyone feels welcome, encouraged and heard. She firmly believes “It takes a village,” and embraces her role within the village. Morgan continuously fosters partnerships in the community and makes families aware of programs and resources available to them. Each day, Morgan strives to ensure she supports student success academically, emotionally and physically with open communication and strong relationships.
David “Alex” Rodriguez, Vista Pointe Elementary
Bilingual Spanish Paraprofessional
Alex Rodriguez has worked to build relationships with Spanish-speaking students at Vista Pointe Elementary since the school opened two years ago. After growing up with Spanish-speaking parents, Rodriguez can quickly perceive when someone needs translation assistance, and he jumps in to help. In his role as a bilingual paraprofessional, Rodriguez works with first- through fourth-grade students on foundational reading skills to ensure they are on grade level. Alex is also a student in the Pathways to Teaching Program at Rollins College, a partnership with OCPS. The program has opened the door for him to earn his bachelor’s degree in elementary education so he can become a certified teacher.
Susan Scheuer, Freedom High
Program Assistant – ESE certified
With almost 20 years of service to ESE students, Susan Scheuer spends many hours off-campus with students in the Community Based Vocational Education program, which prepares students with hands-on workforce skills. Seeing students become independent and advocate for themselves is her daily inspiration. A welcoming face at Freedom High, “Coach Sue” has also served as the Special Olympics coach for over 15 years. She brought Unified Sports to Freedom High, a program that brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to train, play and compete together. In 2019 Freedom High was recognized as a Unified Champion School with National Banner status, the only OCPS school in the district to achieve this recognition.
Corinne Soares, Timber Springs Middle
Leaving the corporate world, Corinne Soares has been able to apply her creative talents beyond a desk. From creating a “learnscape” to painting murals around campus, students and staff feel her genuine care. In her role as school secretary at Timber Springs Middle, Soares enjoys stepping outside her role and has completed substitute teacher training so she can cover a class if needed. This is the third time she has been named Support Person of the Year at Timber Springs Middle, and colleagues say she is a “gifted multi-tasker” and “strong contributor” toward the school culture. She has been an integral part of boosting both the beauty and morale around the campus, leading the Green School initiative, maintaining a school food pantry and facilitating teacher and staff celebrations.
Amy Ziev, ESE Supplemental Services
Educational Sign Language Interpreter Coordinator
Facilitating communication between Deaf and hearing individuals has been Amy Ziev’s passion for more than 32 years. In her role as Educational Sign Language Interpreter Coordinator, Ziev connects staff with resources, skill development opportunities and mentorship so they can best support student success. She began working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people at the age of 18 and has dedicated her career to improving communication for DHH individuals. Ziev, whose role ranges from helping students in classes to interpreting at meetings, believes communication is the foundation for connecting people. As a founding member of the National Association of Interpreters in Education she also supports other interpreters’ growth.
The district’s Support Person of the Year represents Orange County to compete at the state level to be named at the annual Florida School-Related Employee of the Year.
OCPS also announced the finalists for 2022-23 Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year and the finalists for 2022-23 Teacher of the Year.
The winners will be announced at the Stellar Awards February 10, 2023, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando.