A contingency of St. Lucie County School Board members, Superintendent Michael Lannon, district administrators and executives of the St. Lucie County Education Foundation surprised three finalists today for the school district’s 2012 School Related Employee of the Year honor on Thursday, January 5.

The finalists were selected from nominees of support personnel from departments and schools representing such school operations as finance, food services, maintenance, transportation, clerical and office support, student assignment and instructional technology. Applications require selection criteria, including professional support, continuing education and community service.

The nominees for the annual award include Dan McCarty School attendance clerk Sharon Parenteau, Weatherbee Elementary School behavior technician Francesca Petrocelli, and Southport Middle School office clerk Patricia Christian-McFadden.  The School Related Employee of the Year honor is one of four awards announced in the Night of the Stars annual celebration sponsored by the Education Foundation and the school board held annually in February. The other honors are Teacher of the Year, Outstanding First Year Teacher, and Distinguished Minority Educator of the Year. The Teacher of the Year and School Related Employee nominees will go on to regional consideration for the state awards in their categories.

Ms. Parenteau has been with the school district for 22 years, 16 of those at Dan McCarty School. Her responsibilities as attendance clerk are accurate and timely student records, and facilitate student services to improve attendance if appropriate. She also serves as the school’s business partner and volunteer coordinator, is a member of the school advisory council and a Kids at Hope mentor.

Ms. Petrocelli has been with the school district for a decade, three years at Weatherbee Elementary School. Her responsibilities as a behavior technician include developing and implementing interactive learning modes to increase student understanding of course materials, modifying the general education curriculum for special needs students, and supporting the behavior and procedures for students. Petrocelli has also been involved as an advisor for the Sheriff’s Office Explorer’s program.

Ms. Christian-Mc Fadden has been with the school district for 27 years, 7 at Southport Middle School as the office clerk, typically the first person with whom visitors interact or speak to by telephone. During her professional history, Christian-McFadden’s duties have included organizing, coordinating, and managing payroll for after school programs, and managing parent student conferences with school administrators. She has been the school’s United Way campaign coordinator, worked with parents on improving student academic performance, and coordinated student events.

Pictured, top row left, is Francesca Petrocelli with Weatherbee Elementary School principal Mike Hitsman, top row right is Barbara Parenteau with Superintendent Michael Lannon. Bottom row is Patricia Christian-McFadden with Superintendent Lannon and school board chairman Carol Hilson.