Bussey, Irons, Pascarella, Miller Receive Awards
December 17, 2018
Wakulla County School Board honored December’s Teachers and Employee of the Month, plus one November Employee of the Month at the December 17 School Board Meeting.
Notes Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “These four great examples chosen by their peers are recognized for going the extra mile in whatever capacity they are needed in our school system. They truly help make every day count and every child, parent, and employee they come in contact with feel valued.”
Pre-kindergarten teacher Alison Bussey was voted December Teacher of the Month for Wakulla Education Center (WEC) Pre-K.
This is Bussey’s 15th year in education. She served as a substitute teacher in Wakulla for three years, volunteering and substituting at WEC and Shadeville Elementary School when her children were little, then went on to become a teacher at WEC. She is now in her 12th year as a teacher there.
Bussey says she knew from her experience substituting that “my heart and passion were with the younger students.”
As for landing in Wakulla County after growing up in South Florida, she reflects, “I grew up in a rural community outside of Ft. Lauderdale and always knew I wanted to raise my children in a similar type of community. I went to college at TCC and FSU, met my husband, we got lost and found our first home in Wakulla. We have no plans to ever leave.”
Bussey loves working with the children at WEC’s Pre-K, noting, “Their innocence, love, humor, compassion and drive to learn new things inspire me daily.”
But she also has fans in the older children who think highly of her from their days at WEC. She shares, “Some of my greatest joy comes from former students who remember me years down the road. My first year students are in high school now; they will see me at football games and festivals or around town and make it a point to come say hi or give me hugs.”
Bussey’s leadership abilities at WEC range over the years from School Advisory Council member to PTA President to Mentor Teacher to Technology Coordinator.
She also adds her current role as Coordinator of the “Blessings in a Backpack” program as one of her most important. “Blessings in a Backpack” is a non-profit organization that feeds children who currently are fed during the week on the federally funded Free and Reduced Meal Program and are at risk of going hungry on the weekends.
Adds WEC Principal Laura Kelley, “Her classroom is well organized and full of daily excitement where her students are given the opportunity to be leaders as they perform their jobs as teacher helpers. Her classroom community is one that mirrors a family whereby all students support, care for, and cheer for one another.”
First grade teacher Charlotte Irons is Riversink Elementary School’s December Teacher of the Month.
While Irons is in her 5th year at Riversink, she is in her 14th year in education. For 9 years prior to coming to Riversink, she was teaching kindergarten and first grade in Texas.
Irons is far from her home state of Nebraska, where she grew up and attended college, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business and Administration from Chadron State College and a master’s degree in Teaching from Texas Women’s University.
However, she feels at home here, stating “When I came to live in Wakulla, I knew I wanted to work and serve in the community that I lived. I was fortunate to be hired by former RES Principal Jackie High.”
Seeing her students learn so much at their young ages, she says, “It is amazing to see students go from non-readers to readers. I love that my little first grade friends come bounding in my room full of energy and ready to learn each and every day. They inspire me to do the best I can for them every day!”