May 28—D'Aunn Sharpe was nearly speechless after being named the McAlester Public Schools Support Employee of the Year.
Sharpe, a para-professional at Emerson Elementary, said she was grateful to win the the district's award and felt like her job has meaning.
"It's not only a job," Sharpe said. "They're my family; they're my kids."
Sharpe said she starts her work day by opening the doors at 7 a.m. and greeting students as they arrive.
She said it's important to her to greet students and help them start off having a great day.
"I want them to feel like they're missed, that they're loved and cared for, and that they always have someone to come to," Sharpe said. "I want them to know that they have me if they need anything."
Award finalists also included Laura McDonald, Carla Bales, Gary Guthrie, and Nikki Moye.
MPS Assistant Superintendent of Finance Chad Gragg read words from each employee's supervisors and coworkers.
He said Sharpe always arrives first, is a leader and "mom" for the support staff, dedicated to students, and goes beyond her normal duties.
Sharpe said she appreciated the kind words and said she loves working in the district.
"I'm very thankful and I love McAlester Public Schools," Sharpe said. "We're family."