Kinston High, Rochelle staffers receive LCPS awards
Lenoir County Public Schools Teacher Assistant of the Year Deirone Davis, second from left, is honored by, from left, Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II, Human Resources Director Pam Heath, Beginning Teacher Coordinator Kim Hazelgrove and Kinston High School principal Kellan Bryant. Photo courtesy LCPS
The first two of four awards given out annually by LCPS to recognize exemplary service by members of a school staff were delivered this week with a bouquet of balloons to employees whose principals describe them as selfless in their work.
Deirone Davis of Kinston High School was named 2019-20 Teacher Assistant of the Year and Kenneth Suggs of Rochelle Middle School was honored as 2019-20 Non-Instructional Classified Employee of the Year.
A prize patrol comprised of Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II, Human Resources Director Pam Heath and Beginning Teacher Coordinator Kim Hazelgrove delivered the balloons and the news to the winners on Thursday.
Davis and Suggs will be celebrated April 4 at the district’s Employee Recognition Banquet, when LCPS will also honor its Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year.
Davis began her educational career in 1993 at Frink Middle School and has since worked at Savannah Middle and North Lenoir and Kinston high schools, always as a teacher assistant in the Exceptional Children program. She has served as president of the Lenoir County chapter of the N.C. Association of Teacher Assistants for 12 years and vice president of District 2 NCATA for 13 years.
“She not only advocates for her students daily, but for teacher assistants across the state,” Kinston High School Principal Kellan Bryant wrote in her nomination letter. “I am proud to have her serving the students at Kinston High School. I know she comes to work every day with a smile on her face and ready to work with students to ensure they are successful.”
Davis is currently Occupational Course of Study Teacher Assistant at Kinston High and assists her teacher with finding jobs in the community for their students, teaching communication skills, helping with paperwork and monitoring their job performance.
“My passion is to see children treated fairly and offered opportunities in spite of their disabilities,” Davis wrote in the biography that accompanied her nomination.
Suggs joined the staff at Rochelle as a custodian in 2012. He is, said principal Felicia Solomon, “an amazing employee who takes pride in his work every day, in every area, in every way.”
Suggs’ nomination praised his attention to detail, his dependability and his willingness to help others.
“I believe in making a positive impact wherever I am planted and I do not mind working hard,” Suggs wrote in the letter that accompanied his nomination. “I encourage our youth to take learning seriously and I am quick to express words of appreciation to children who are well behaved and who do their best to excel in their studies.”
Suggs and Davis were chosen as winners of their respective awards by a panel of judges that reviewed the nominations and conducted interviews.
“Fourteen amazing nominees did a wonderful job of representing their schools in their interviews for the Teacher Assistant of the Year and Non-Instructional Classified Employee of the Year,” said Heath, who organizes the annual awards program. “The selection process was very difficult because the nominees were all so deserving of this honor.”