BYMS librarian, Doreen McCann; choir director, Linda Nason; school counselor, Sandy Pendleton; and band director Rita Watson were honored as recipients of the PTA Honorary Service Awards during the annual BYMS PTA meeting and Open House held in the MPR at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, May 2.
McCann received the “Honorary Service Award,” Nason the “Outstanding Teacher Award,” Pendleton the “Continuing Service Award,” and Watson received the “Golden Oak Award” (PTA’s highest honor).
Staff members were nominated by parents, teachers, and administration and they were also selected by the PTA board members for the awards.
“There is a nomination process where BYMS staff and parents nominate people that go above and beyond for BYMS,” stated McCann. “Then there is a PTA committee that looks through the nominations and narrows it down to the few that are selected. This whole process is done confidentially – so know one knows who was nominated and who was selected until the night of the event, with the exception of the committee members.”
“I am very honored to receive the ‘Golden Oak Award.’ Not that many are handed out, so it was very special to be picked for this honor,” stated Watson, who is retiring at the end of this school year. “I just feel I’m very, very lucky to work at such a great school!”
“I was delighted and surprised to receive the PTA’s award for ‘Outstanding Teacher.’ I’ve been here 18 years, so maybe it’s about length of time, as well as performance as a teacher,” explained Mrs. Watson.
“The award came as a complete surprise to me! I felt very honored and humbled to be recognized,” according to Pendleton, who will be also retiring at the end of this school year. “It was also a surprise that the PTA took the time to notify my family so that they could be a part of that evening.”
“The recognition was just to appreciate the service that I have done at Bernardo. The academic intervention programs that I run each day at lunch time… the support that I try to give the students each day, whether it be discussing academics and ways to improve with tips and strategies … or providing a ‘mediation’ opportunity for students that are having some conflicts,” added Pendleton.
“Also, the new after-school intervention program for our at-risk 8th grade students… to provide another opportunity for them to be successful with some intensive adult support. Lastly, I suppose to recognize another event that I host every other year at Bernardo, which is the Career Day event. This is a really fun and exciting way to connect school to future/potential careers and we have 25-30 professional presenters come onto our campus to share their work experiences with the students,” Pendleton continued.
“I think the bottom line is when you set your heart and let the gifts you’ve been given as a person, to serve in whatever that capacity might be,
you find the most rewarding way to spend your time in service and it’s the best career to have!” stated Pendleton.
“It is an honor to be awarded the PTA Continuing Service Award. It was a nice, unexpected surprise,” explained McCann. “It is always a great feeling when your hard work is recognized.”