Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee and Finalists

The finalists for the 2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Award

2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee 

Kevin Brown, Warehouse Supervisor, Woodson Food Services Warehouse, Financial Services

a photo of kevin brownOn a snow day earlier this year when employees were advised to stay home, Kevin drove to the Food Services Center to make sure FCPS stocked the essentials students needed when they returned. Such dedication is typical for Kevin who, as the warehouse supervisor, leads a team that provides food for some 142,000 customers daily, while also overseeing $1 million in inventory. Colleagues praise him as a humble manager and master of logistics. In the face of snow days and vendor shortages, he is known for his positive attitude and quick focus on problem-solving. “He is exceptional,” said one, “when dealing with issues that are beyond his control.”



2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Gracie Mendez Arellano, Early Childhood Nutrition Technician, Leis Center, Instructional Services

a photo of of gracie mendez arellanoGracie provides extraordinary support to the 800 students and families involved in the Early Childhood Education program. She’s streamlined the health and nutrition systems and provided a more enhanced experience by having staff present at enrollment appointments. She also revamped the registration system at Mount Vernon, so more families and children are ready on the first day of classes. Colleagues say she’s great at establishing rapport, whether visiting a family at home or stopping by one of the 60 classrooms she visits each quarter. “No matter what is going on,” says one, “Gracie makes a unique and exceptional contribution through her selfless dedication to meeting the needs of others.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Becky Burson, Bus Driver, Lorton Center, Transportation

a photo of becky bursonIn three decades as a school bus driver, Rebecca has become a “transportation legend” at Wakefield Forest Elementary School. Known for her laughter and caring nature, as much as for her safety record, Miss Becky has shepherded a generation of kindergartners to school for the first time. She’s also made sure the big kids are treating each other well, mentored countless crossing guards, and even let parents know if their child had a tough day. “She doesn’t just drive and deliver our children to school,” said one parent, “she envelopes them in a warm and comforting environment and starts and ends our children’s school day on a positive note.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Llexell Evangelista, TMPC Supervisor, Nancy Sprague Technology Center, Information Technology

a photo of llexell evangelistaWhen students at Edison High School staged a production of “Oklahoma,” a chorus of actors sang “where the wind blows softly oe’r the plains” against a backdrop of a massive field of wheat waving in the breeze. The 9x12 screens supporting this illusion were due in no small part to Llexell, whose motto as supervisor of the Teaching Materials Preparation Center is, “If you can think of it, TMPC can make it happen.” Known for his quiet nature and innate resolve, Llexell, who became a U.S. citizen in 2015, has also helped ESOL by creating catchy presentations for Annual Heritage Night. “In a behind-the-scenes way,” said one colleague, “he moves mountains and really makes a difference.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Elizabeth Hatt, Administrative Assistant, Willow Oaks Administrative Center, Special Services

a photo of betty hatt“Betty is the true definition of a servant leader,” says a colleague who credits this willingness to put others first with keeping the office of Intervention and Prevention Services running. In addition to possessing an expert knowledge of federal grants, Betty has built at least four access databases, kept up with everchanging brand designs and can coax a copier back into action or tell you why software is not operating as expected. At the same time, she’s praised for extending beyond herself to make everyone feel like they matter, whether she’s helping parents who seek her assistance, knitting baby blankets for a colleague, or sharing a batch of her amazing “Betty brownies.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Helen Motal, Administrative Assistant, Gatehouse Administration Center, Human Resources

a photo of helen motalHelen has been called the “Bionic Woman” of the Office of Benefit Services for her ability to keep the department both incredibly productive and working together. Whether she’s maintaining a cool head in her role as crisis manager, assisting with the payroll, or helping other administrative assistants devise best practices, Helen ensures the office runs smoothly. During the busy open enrollment season, she boosts morale by putting “lucky numbers” under everyone’s keyboards and allowing daily winners to pick a prize. “She not only supports our work efforts,” said one co-worker, “but also makes sure that we find time to connect on a personal level.”


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Gordon Pullen, Operating Engineer, Gatehouse Administration Center, Facilities

a photo of gordon pullenWhen the HVAC unit shut down in part of the building on a recent night at Gatehouse, Gordon told a technician he’d handle it. What he didn’t say was that he’d do it immediately, even though it was nearly 10 p.m. and he had already gone home for the day. Such dedication is typical, say colleagues who praise Gordon as a consummate professional and troubleshooter. As one coworker noted, “No complaint is too small for Gordon to investigate and resolve. ”Thanks in large part to his efforts, the headquarters system is now much more efficient and Gatehouse has saved 14 percent in energy costs over the last two years.


2018 Outstanding Nonschool-based Support Employee Finalist

Sarada Sistla, Business Operations Technical Specialist, Willow Oaks Administrative Center, Chiefs Offices

a photo of sarada sistlaA former banker from India known for her attention to detail, Sarada has been a natural to manage the multiple complex budgets in the Professional Growth and Career Development office. Colleagues describe her as a strategic thinker with a strong ability to build and maintain relationships; one who isn’t afraid to ask the difficult questions on why and how resources are spent. She’s also taken on challenging projects like the reorganization of office finances, while still accomplishing her daily responsibilities. “Her desire to learn combined with her self-discipline to execute a task,” said one colleague, “are unmatched.”



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