will hess - district school related employee of the year

Congratulations, Will Hess! Will is well known for his knowledge and keen sense for commitment to the student’s success earning the respect and admiration of teachers, admin, and all who come into contact with him. He diligently answers any call that comes in, no matter what time of day or night, to ensure that everyone in the county feels supported and understood.

His workday starts before he leaves home and ends well after he is off the clock. He has a curious mind that leads him to continually expand his knowledge and skills to be able to better help his co-workers and schools alike.

As a representative of SRSD, he works with all major suppliers of technological hardware, always being professional, respectful and ensures the needs of the schools are being met.

He is a customer service guru with the schools, fantastic at conflict resolution, and is able to juggle so many tasks at once.

Our nominee has become a valuable asset by reaching out and offering help to the other branches of the division. From getting us through the network cleanup project, finishing Wallace Lake, or just regular day to day work, he is always looking for ways where he and his group can help.

Whenever he is around, morale improves. He's always there with a joke that can disarm a stressful situation, and he has a knack for putting things in perspective. His opinion and insight are highly valued, especially when he's in devil's advocate mode.

We look forward to continuing to work with him in the future, and I hope that he will remain part of our group for a long time to come.

kenny wilson - custodial employee of the year

Congratulations, Kenny Wilson! Kenny is married to Alma Wilson and together they have four children and five grandchildren. Kenny and Alma love beach outings, attending their grandson’s soccer matches, and having romantic date nights. They also enjoy attending UWF football games and if you already know Kenny, you know he is an avid Cowboys fan.

Prior to becoming a Day Custodian for ABM and the Santa Rosa County District Schools, Kenny worked as a professional wrestler with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). In 1986 Kenny even won the mid—south championship title fight.

Kenny has also worked in warehouse management and the construction industry. On Valentines Day, February 14, 2007. Kenny started working for ABM and Santa Rosa County District schools and has been a highly valued worker ever since. Sixteen of those years were spent as the Day Custodian at Avalon Middle School and serving as the unofficial “Mayor of Avalon”. While at Avalon Middle Kenny worked for and with the likes of Mr. David Sigurnjack, Mrs. Emily Donalson, Mr. Josh Pape, Dr. Tonya Shepherd, and Mr. Joe Trujillo. Kenny loved being at Avalon and being a positive influence on the students and teachers. It was while working at Avalon that Kenny attended the very first Bridges out of Poverty class with Dr. Karen Barber as his instructor. After graduating the program Kenny went on to teach several classes and serve as a member of the board of directors for approximately four years. During his service with the Bridges out of Poverty program Kenny helped to influence change in approximately 100 participants lives. Also, while working at Avalon Middle School, Kenny helped raise over 50 thousand dollars in support of their SGA, BETA, Band, Chorus, and PTO organizations. Furthermore, in the 2022-2023 school year Kenny was selected as a top twelve finalist by the Tennant Company in their national “Custodians are Key” competition.

This past summer Kenny transitioned from the Day Custodian position at Avalon Middle School to Locklin Technical College. His departure from Avalon was recognized with an outpouring of love in a farewell event attended by nearly 100 of Avalon’s faculty, staff, students, and former administrators. At Locklin, Kenny has already helped bring about immediate and significant changes around the campus. In addition to his normal duties and responsibilities at Lockin, Kenny routinely assists in other schools when there have been evening call outs. As always, Kenny is driven and willing to go above and beyond in his service to the Santa Rosa County District Schools and our community. He has said many times that “The greatest part of my job is that I love working around all the kids, and seeing the positive impact that a guy like me can have on their lives.”

We are indeed fortunate to have a selfless leader like Kenny Wilson in our company and look forward to his continued service for years to come.

Carol Litton - Substitute Teacher of the Year

Congratulations, Mrs. Carol Litton, Substitute Teacher of the Year!

Mrs. Litton is originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, but grew up in Ponca City, Oklahoma. She obtained her Bachelor of Education degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee Oklahoma in 1975.

Mrs. Litton’s teaching career began in the Jefferson City, Missouri school system at Callaway Hills Elementary as a reading instructor and then a second grade teacher. In St. Louis she taught elementary grades at Willott Road Christian, First Baptist Christian Academy, Spoede Elementary and a seven year tenure at Old Bonhomme Elementary. Notably, she trained a number of student teachers at each of those locations.

Since coming to Santa Rosa County in 2019 she has been substituting in many of the county’s schools and is highly regarded by both students and staff.

Kimberly perritt - transportation employee of the year

Congratulations, Kimberly Perritt, on being recognized as our Employee of the Year! Though there was some tough competition, your loyalty and dedication shone the brightest this year.

We want to thank you for your unwavering dedication to your job. So many students, parents, and coworkers give us positive feedback on your contributions to the success of your job and our company.

We’ve noted your selfless giving to STA, ensuring that all children get picked up and dropped off daily, even when they aren’t “your” kids regardless of what you have going on. The amount of effort you put into your job is much appreciated, and we know that sometimes with the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day routine, we may not show our appreciation. However, this is the right time to thank you for all your hard work. Despite all the challenges and obstacles our team has encountered, you’ve faced each one with a positive attitude and professionalism. Your continued dedication, enthusiasm, and strength in your role as a bus driver inspire all of us every day. We’re beyond grateful to have you as a part of our STA family.

Co-workers nominate an employee who they feel has contributed the most to our team. Various nominations showed appreciation for the help to others you have shown. Your team members also appreciate that you always have a positive attitude and assume a leadership role when others are struggling. Additionally, your supervisors vouch for your hard work and efficiency. They are impressed with your daily accomplishments and speak highly of your work efforts, it is a positive contribution that deserves our recognition.

Miguel Altamirano-Arevalo, Food service employee of the year

Sodexo is honored to present the 2023 Food Service Employee of the Year Award to Miguel Altamirano-Arevalo! Miguel joined us in January 2023. He started his career at Milton High School as a Food Service Worker and worked his way up to Food Prep Helper within just a few short months.

In the short time that Miguel has been with Sodexo, he has quickly become a standout in the cafeteria, with his coworkers, as well as with the students at Milton High School.

He radiates positivity, hard work, and a deep dedication to our number one goal as a team, “To feed the children”. Anyone who has been around Miguel for even five minutes will most likely hear words of encouragement, a joke to make you laugh, or even hear him sing a song!

Miguel makes it a point to learn the names of each student that comes through his line. The students love to go through his line, especially on their birthdays, because he will sing "happy birthday" to them or ask them how their day is going. To show their gratitude, Miguel received the Outstanding Educator Award for the 2022-2023 school year, which was voted on by the students at Milton High School.

In addition to working as a Food Prep Helper, Miguel is also a very talented DJ, which he shared with us by providing the music at our welcome back General Assembly meeting back in August. He is also husband to Erica, who also works for Sodexo, and father to their daughter Ansley.

Congratulations on all your accomplishments and we look forward to working alongside you and witnessing your passion and hard work come to fruition!