Troy University’s ACCESS Support Center has named its regional award winners for the 2019-2020 school year. In keeping with its mission to provide online education to high schools throughout the southern third of Alabama, the awards were announced in a virtual meeting.
This year’s winners are:
Valerie Bourne, Counselor, New Brockton High School,
Jean Hicks, Teacher, retired educator,
Stan Sauls, Administrator, Enterprise High School,
Eyvonne Mixon, Facilitator, Georgiana High School; and
Kaylee Wright, Student, Foley High School
“We want to recognize excellence and let the winners know that they are appreciated,” said Casey Mack, Director of ACCESS at Troy.
The winner in each category is nominated by someone “in the field” – a co-worker or supervisor.
Foley High School senior Kaylee Wright was nominated by her Algebra II teacher, Rebecca Beck. She completed her freshman, junior and senior years through ACCESS.
“Kaylee first caught my attention through the work she submitted in the drop box assignments. It is very common for a student to have a difficult time showing work in algebra II, but Kaylee’s work was exceptional,” Beck said. “I believe Kaylee is an exemplary ACCESS student and she is very aware of the opportunities ACCESS has given her. Her future is bright due to ACCESS.”
Eyvonne Mixon’s motivation is found in serving others. She became Georgiana High School’s first ACCESS facilitator, and is currently the school’s only facilitator. Outside of her duties at school, she is active in community and church programs and works with the U.S. Census. At school her commitment to public service is seen through her support of her students, working through the summer program in addition to the regular school year.
“Whether she is serving her friends, or her community, she is constantly putting the needs of others above her own,” said GHS Counselor Allison Hall-Bedgood, who nominated her for the award. “Her humility in doing so sets an example to everyone of what public service truly means.”
“I believe she brings her unique energy, optimism, passion, and tireless creativity to our students every day,” she said.
Enterprise High School Assistant Principal Stan Sauls not only coordinates support for ACCESS at one of the largest high schools in the state, but teaches social science through the TROY Support Center. At EHS, Sauls oversees all aspects of the daily operation of ACCESS in his school, and works with students, facilitators and counselors to assure the program is being used to the school’s advantage in every way.
“He is one of the best instructors that TROY employs and is highly regarded by the Support Center Staff. He cares deeply about the success of his students that he teaches, as well as those whom he supervises at Enterprise High School,” said Alicia Brown, Associate Director of Academics for the TROY Support Center.
“Their ACCESS enrollment is one of the largest in the Troy region and probably the state in general. Their success rates are impressive, especially considering the number of students who utilize the program throughout the school year and during the summer term,” she said.
ACCESS Facilitator Linda Chapman, Thomasville High School, nominated retired educator Jean Hicks as ACCESS Teacher of the Year because of the relationships she builds with her Spanish students – even making a once-a-semester trip to the school to visit students in person.
“Jean embraces any opportunity to help her students succeed, which makes her an ideal leader,” Chapman said. “She is a driven, organized teacher who develops inspiring relationships with her students.”
Counselor of the Year recipient Valerie Bourne is a busy person at New Brockton High School, a small, rural school between Enterprise and Elba. Among her many duties as the high school’s lone counselor is registering students for ACCESS courses.
“A great thing about her is that she knows her students well. She knows which courses are best for each student,” said Kay Larrimore, an ACCESS educator who nominated Bourne.
“As an ACCESS educator, I know how vital it is to have a counselor that will work with me – sometimes we have a student who just needs a nudge, or a really good ‘talking to’ – she will track down ACCESS students, and meet with them and the facilitator. She’s every ACCESS teacher’s dream counselor,” she said.
Each of the region’s winners will now advance to a statewide evaluation.