Tallahassee, FL— March 29, 2011 --
Deputy Superintendent of Schools Marvin Henderson joined with other local dignitaries to pay an unexpected visit to Ms. Rhonda Harden at Bond Elementary today to inform her that she has been selected as the 2010-2011 Leon County Schools’ Devurn Glenn-Aquilina Howell award winner.
“It is an honor to award Ms. Harden because of the commitment and dedication she brings to her job every day,” said Superintendent Pons. “There are employees throughout our district that continue to go the extra mile for our students and we are confident that Ms. Harden will represent all of these excellent LCS employees as this year’s honoree.”
Ms. Harden has been involved in Leon County Schools since 1988. She has been in her position as Media Specialist at Bond Elementary for the previous five years where she believes that, “the entire campus is her classroom…the library goes beyond the four walls that hold our books.” She is often the first to arrive to school and one of the last to leave. On any given day, you can find her giving hugs, wiping noses, reading stories, offering encouraging words, or finding solutions for both students and teachers.
“Rhonda epitomizes the distinguished characteristics of Dr. Devurn Glenn and Mrs. Aquilina Howell,” said Bond Elementary Principal Pam Hightower. “She consistently demonstrates exemplary skill often through her pep talks about the need to show respect, be responsible and come to school prepared.”
Ms. Harden is also an active member of her community. She serves as the Youth Sunday School Teacher and an advisor to the “Tween/Teen Girl Talk” Group where she facilitates meetings with teens and preteens to discuss matters of concern to young girls and offers guidance, insight and motivation. Additionally, Ms. Harden established a Homeless Shelter Ministry at her church that has been active in feeding and supporting our community’s most needy since 2005.
“I feel that my children are worth that little extra; I give them my best because they are worth every minute of it,” she said in a recent faculty meeting. “Whatever the task, big or small, if it will help a student to learn or a teacher to teach, then it is my responsibility.”
The Devurn Glenn-Aquilina Howell award is given annually to an LCS employee who has demonstrated a significant contribution to minority students in increasing student academic performance as well as excellence in leadership in teaching.
This year’s five finalists were:
Patricia Rouse – Fort Braden School
Rhonda Harden – Bond Elementary School
Marcus Nicolas – Godby High School
Jeanette Villa – Woodville Elementary School
Zelena O’Banner – Deerlake Middle School