PCS names Support Persons of the Year

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

PELHAM – Pelham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield praised four support personnel at a board of education meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, for going above and beyond in their respective positions.

Coefield named four Support Persons of the Year, one recipient for each school. Teachers of the Year were also honored at the meeting. But prior to that, a reception was held for those being honored.

The reception, which was held at Pelham Park Middle School, included light hors d’oeuvres, desserts and beverages prepared by students in Pelham High School’s culinary arts program. Pelham Park Ambassadors greeted guests as they arrived and helped everyone find their way around the school.

Support Persons of the Year are Melanie Sherer, secretary at Pelham Oaks; Carla Demsky, special education aide at Pelham Ridge; Evelyn Price, bookkeeper at Pelham Park Middle; and Lisa Dettwiller, athletic secretary at Pelham High School.

Sherer, who has been a school secretary for five years, said the best parts of her days include students. Prior to becoming secretary in 2014, she served as a physical education aide for 10 years.

“I love the students,” she said. “I never turn down a hug.”

Sherer said her job as the secretary allows her to interact with the students in a different way.

“I’m not their disciplinarian and I’m not with them for eight hours a day,” she said. “I can talk to them if they’re having a bad day and help them think of things from a different perspective. We’re also able to have light-hearted conversations.”

When she learned she was named the school’s Support Person of the Year she said she was shocked because there are so many people who also deserve the recognition.

“It’s really an honor that my peers think that much of me,” she said.

Sherer said her favorite thing about working at Pelham Oaks is that it’s a fun place to work with great coworkers who are more like family than friends.

Demsky began working in Pelham as a special education aide in 1999. She said her favorite thing about working at Pelham Ridge is teaching students in small groups. She said seeing her students succeed is priceless.

She said each student has contributed to making her the person she is today. Demsky said the way her students show their love and appreciation makes going to work such a pleasure.

Price, the PPMS bookkeeper, has worked in Pelham since 1992. She has seen many transitions in her time as middle school bookkeeper. While at Riverchase she saw students split off to form Oak Mountain Middle and then years later Helena Middle. She was a part of the formation of Pelham City Schools and then part of the move from Riverchase to the new Pelham Park Middle. Price said she especially enjoys having a service position where she is able to help other employees.

Dettwiller, the athletic secretary, has worked in Pelham since 2004. She said she enjoys all facets of her job – the programs, the paperwork and the people. Dettwiller worked at Riverchase Middle School when there was over 1,300 students. She says that despite some rough and challenging days, it was fun too.

Pelham Board of Education members thanked the support personnel for their dedication and all they do to help students and their respective schools.