St. Lucie Public Schools’ 2013 School Related Employee of the Eric Henik has been named one of five finalists for the state school-related employee award. This employee group awards support personnel in such school operations as finance, food services, maintenance, transportation, clerical and office support, student assignment and instructional technology. The state winner will be announced sometime in May, according to the Florida Department of Education.

Henik has been with St. Lucie Public Schools for seven years, five as plant manager at his current site at Palm Pointe Educational Research School and two years previously at Rivers Edge Elementary School as assistant site foreman. Henik says his goal is “to provide a clean, safe and efficient facility that sets the standard for the district.” His duties include overseeing a staff of 10, maintaining the 32-acre facility, keeping up with supplies for the indoor and outdoor needs of the school, and working with the staff to ensure a safe and secure campus. He collaborated with the architect and construction project manager during the planning and construction of Palm Pointe, both of whom had glowing remarks of his leadership during the process. He also volunteers to attend Tradition community management meetings regarding traffic and school appearance concerns, and serves on several school district committees, and has spearheaded several cost-saving procedures at his school site. The last St. Lucie Public Schools employee to reach the state finalist level was Gary Taylor in 1999, representing the facilities and maintenance department.

Henik, right, is pictured being congratulated by St. Lucie Education Foundation executive director Jim McKenzie during a surprise visit to the school by an entourage including Superintendent Michaeal Lannon, School Board chairman Debbie Hawley, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Helen Roberts, and Candace Stone, chairman of the district employee recognition committee.