Conway Schools names Employee of the Year Finalists

Six Conway Public Schools employees have been recognized for their outstanding work and commitment to the district.

The new “Employee of the Year” awards, given to one staff member in each area or “department” of work in CPSD, were recently presented. The winners are:

Transportation- Al Credit 

Mr. Credit works as a bus aide in the afternoons, in addition to his main position as a custodian at Conway Junior High School.

Al Credit (Transportation Employee of the Year, from left), CPSD Bus Driver Steve Ward, Superintendent Jeff Collum, Director of Support Services Jason Lawrence.

Food Service- DeAna Tyler 

Ms. Tyler works in the cafeteria at Marguerite Vann Elementary School.

CPSD Food Service Supervisor Sharon Burgess (from left), DeAna Tyler (Food Service Employee of the Year), Food Services Coordinator Meagan Brown.

Paraprofessional- Juanita Darkis 

Ms. Darkis is a Special Education Paraprofessional at Ruth Doyle Middle School.

CPSD Director of Special Education Kelli Gordon (from left), Superintendent Jeff Collum, Juanita Darkis (Paraprofessional Employee of the Year), Ruth Doyle Middle School Principal Matt Kelly.

Maintenance- Gail Furlow 

Ms. Furlow is a custodian at Julia Lee Moore Elementary School.

Office/Technology- Martha Longing

Ms. Longing is the bookkeeper at Conway Junior High School.

Student Support Services- Claudia Courtway 

Ms. Courtway works at Courtway Middle School, and serves the students and families of the district as a social worker.

“The work we do here in Conway Public Schools is a team effort,” says Heather Kendrick, CPSD’s Communication Specialist. “Classified staff members come alongside our teachers and administrators each day to create a safe and caring environment that is conducive to learning. They make sure students are fed, buildings are clean, and the internet is working. They serve students one-on-one or alongside teachers in classrooms. CPSD is so fortunate to have classified staff who do “Whatever it Takes” for our students.”

This is the first year for the Employee of the Year recognitions and designations. Nominations for the awards were submitted through a Google form by CPSD staff in April. The nominations were then read by a panel of independent judges, who selected the winners in each category. Criteria for Employees of the Year includes having three years of professional work experience in the Conway School District and 70% attendance, as well as displaying CPSD’s Core Values and going above and beyond to perform work duties. 

CPSD Superintendent Jeff Collum says the Employees of the Year are an example for everyone in the district to follow.

“These six individuals exemplify what it means to be a ‘Staff Committed to Excellence,’” Collum said. “They represent all our core values in their important work each day. They make us proud to be Wampus Cats.” 

An overall CPSD Employee of the Year will be chosen from the six winners and announced at the district’s Convocation in August. The winner will receive a $500 prize, courtesy of Coleman’s Office Supply.