Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee and Finalists

The outstanding nonschool-based hourly employees recognized at 2017 FCPS Honors

2017 Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee

Alison Culhane, Program Assistant, Instructional Services, Willow Oaks Administrative Centera picture of alison culhane

Ali is the force behind the Get2Green Environmental Stewardship program which has grown from being in 4 schools in 2009 to over 150 in 2016. Ali not only helped launch the initiative but has been instrumental in its success, handling logistical work, data and grant management, teacher training and communication. Over the years, she’s forgone other career opportunities to build the program which helps schools conserve energy and reduce waste costs. This has led to more STEAM opportunities for students, including the annual School Environmental Action Showcase. Supervisors praise her ability to work hard, across departments and with anyone. “Starting new initiatives in FCPS takes stamina and determination,” said one. “Ali has both.”



2017 Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee Finalist

Nitin Bhatia, Functional Applications Technician, Information Technology, Wilton Woods Center a picture of Nitin Bhatia

As one of his coworkers tells it, if you listen to Nitin talk to a customer, “you can actually hear the smile in his voice. “ Nitin’s calm manner and ability to quickly resolve technical issues have made him a “go-to” person on the IT FASTeam. He’s the expert on time and attendance questions and the force behind his team’s smooth implementation of MyTime. He’s also known for his knowledge of the application to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, walking countless parents and students through the often stressful process and helping them identify next steps. “His uncanny ability to calm even the angriest or most frustrated customers is unparalleled,” says a colleague.



2017 Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee Finalist

Rodrigo Guajardo, Multilingual Interpreter, Special Services, Gatehouse Administration Centera picture of rodrigo guajardo

Rodrigo’s contribution to FCPS goes well beyond his role as a language interpreter. Not only do his simultaneous translations make communication easier, his professionalism, cultural awareness, and poise in contentious meetings have enhanced relationships. Teachers who have worked with him say he regularly asks clarifying questions to help parents understand complex educational terminology, treats privileged information with care, and has often anonymously offered resources to support students and families with unmet needs. As one colleague noted, “Mr. Guajardo’s manner and the simple act of making a family feel comfortable as well as respected, allow parents to feel part of the team.”



2017 Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee Finalist

Suzan Ismael, Records Management Assistant, Human Resources, Gatehouse Administration Centera picture of suzan ismael

The old adage, “competence is rewarded with more work” perfectly describes Suzan. Since being hired to help out in the personnel file room four years ago, she has consistently taken on greater responsibilities. Recently, Suzan began juggling both responding to employment verification requests and supporting the divisionwide launch of MyTime. Supervisors praise her organization and conscientiousness; Suzan manages 40,000 plus confidential files and complies quickly with requests while eagerly taking on other tasks as needed. “Suzan is a model coworker who fosters positive relationships and acts selflessly to support others,” said one.



2017 Outstanding Nonschool-based Hourly Employee Finalist

Melyssa Plath, Parent Resource Center Liaison, Family and School Partnerships, Dunn Loring Centera picture of melyssa plath

In her three years running the Parent Resource Center, Melyssa has developed a reputation for doing whatever it takes to assist parents. She facilitated “Mind in the Making – The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child,” which personalized a professional development course to make it accessible to parents, educators and community members. The workshop became so popular that this year she was asked to offer it to three Title 1 schools. She also created the ScreamFREE parenting workshops to teach parents the importance of being calm, and developed a sensory awareness program for understanding children with autism. Colleagues describe her as energetic and enthusiastic, a role model who excels at motivating others. “Whatever the task,” said one. “Melyssa exceeds expectations every time.”