May 20, 2019
At their May 20 meeting, the Wakulla County School Board recognized Hillari Talana Dugger as the May 2019 Employee of the Month.
Employed in the WCSB Transportation Department for the past eight years, Dugger has been a van driver, secretary, and now holds the position of Administrative Secretary to Transportation Coordinator Pat Jones.
“She is my left hand and my right hand, always keeping me straight. She is dependable, responsible and trustworthy,” praises Jones.
Before her employment in the Transportation Department, Dugger worked as a teacher assistant at Shadeville Elementary School, at Wakulla Education Center Pre-Kindergarten, and then at Sopchoppy Pre-K.
A native of Wakulla County, Dugger attended Sopchoppy Elementary School, Wakulla Middle School, and graduated from Wakulla High School.
One of the requirements for her current job is to hold a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) in case she has to substitute as a bus driver. This often happens with all the daily routes, extra-curriculars transportation, and over 1,000 field trips per year.
Attending Wakulla County schools plus having all her teacher assistant experiences put her in a unique position of knowing so many children, parents, and community members.
“Growing up in Wakulla County, I find that on just about every bus, I seem to know someone or their parent, grandparent or other relative. This makes starting a conversation with the students easy and always seems to make the bus ride go better.
“At the Bus Garage, we all wear many hats: secretary, bus driver, van driver, bus attendant, and occasionally we can pinch hit as a mechanic, but only when the mechanics let us!
“I really love the people I work with. They have the ability to make a crazy, hectic, down right horrible day into a great one with their humor,” says Dugger.
“Talana Dugger has the ability to relate effectively to parents, drivers, bus attendants, mechanics, and principals in completing her daily tasks. She has an enormous job every day keeping up with all of our transportation responsibilities.
“In addition, she is responsible for our payroll, which she does with superior record keeping. The thing that impresses me the most is the wonderful attitude she displays while completing all the duties assigned to her. She believes in giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” adds Jones.
“Talana is certainly an asset to the Transportation Department and to our whole school district,” says Superintendent Bobby Pearce.
“She is a true example of the idea that any task can be performed, but doing even the most difficult task with a great attitude makes all the difference. We appreciate her service and are happy to be able to honor her.”