A team of student support officers (SSO) from the Murray Bridge High School have been named as one-of-three finalists for a South Australian Public Education Award.
Liz Rayner, Kerry Lienert, Helen Wohlfeil, Karen Keen and Sonya Roesler were nominated for the Performance Through Values Award by disability unit manager Dr Christine Roberts-Yates, who only told them after the nomination was submitted.
The award recognises outstanding employees or teams who have demonstrated excellence associated with one or more of a list of values, including professionalism, service, trust, respect, honesty and integrity.
The award was nomination-based only and was not open for applications. The winners will be awarded $10,000 and the two runners-up will receive a $2000 award.
Dr Roberts-Yates could only praise the team.
“I wanted to nominate them because they are the best team I could possibly ask for and I believe they are so very deserving of the award,” Dr Roberts-Yates said.
“Without these SSOs we wouldn’t have the world-class disability unit that we do. We don’t acknowledge SSOs anywhere near enough, they really are the education department’s unsung heroes.”
While the nomination itself was welcome, Ms Wohlfeil said winning the award would be very much appreciated.
“It would be fantastic to get recognition, not just for our work, but also for the school’s disability unit,” she said.
“We face many challenges in our work, and to make a difference in our student’s lives makes it so rewarding.”
Without these SSOs we wouldn’t have the world-class disability unit that we do. We don’t acknowledge SSOs anywhere near enough, they really are the education department’s unsung heroes.
Ms Keen said the nomination helps to publicly validate the work they do for their student’s in need.
“If we win the award, it will be fantastic to get Murray Bridge’s name out there,” she said. “It will be great to win so our student’s families can be reassured that their children are coming to a truly quality facility.”
The award winners will be announced in October.