A few weeks ago Braham Area Schools recognized two instructional staff (Per Gulbranson and Kari Murrell) members for their achievements. They would now like to honor their top performing support staff.

ISD No. 314 has approximately 60 employees who work primarily behind the scenes supporting first class instruction for our students.

“Be it office support, building and grounds, nursing, paraprofessionals, food service, etc., we could not operate effectively without these folks performing at a very high level,” Superintendent Ken Gagner said. “They are deeply appreciated for their hard work and service to our district.”

The process to formally recognize support staff begins with peers nominating deserving individuals. This year the following support staff employees received nominations: Barb Johnson, Judy Bendickson, Dakota Hill, Marlys Carlson, Jamie Carlyle, Erica Gould, Debra Kelley, Tammy Johnson, Peggy Koehler and Julie Johnson.

From this group Judy Bendickson and Erica Gould were selected to be formally honored for the 2021-2022 school year.

“Judy had an especially wild ride these past 20 months being on the very front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. While her services as a school nurse are always critical, the district quickly realized the importance of her quiet and thoughtful leadership during this time. She put in countless hours doing everything in her power to help students and staff stay safe while at the same time balancing the desires of the district to have in-person instruction as a top priority,” Gagner said. “Erica Gould, a food service worker, truly embodies our two district bedrocks - service and excellence. She always has a smile on her face and is described as positive, respectful, and a calming influence no matter the circumstances.”

2021-2022 Education Support Staff Award (ESSA) winners:

• Erica Gould

a. Employed in Braham: six years.

b. Hometown: Blaine.

c. What brings you the most joy at work? Definitely the kids, they all have their own way of making my day a little brighter! And of course my co-workers, they are just a great group of ladies and we have a lot of fun together, which I am so grateful for!

• Judy Bendickson

a. Employed in Braham: 17 years.

b. Hometown: Mora.

c. What brings you the most joy at work? My job as school nurse has its many daily challenges, but it’s the students from the preschoolers to the seniors that bring the greatest joy. The youngest to the oldest often come up with the greatest questions and conversations that frequently make my day!

Keep in mind Braham is big enough to offer opportunity and small enough to stand out! Contact Gagner at 320-396-5199, 320-288-6634, or kgagner@braham.k12.mn.us should you have questions. Follow the district on their website, Facebook, or Twitter at: @Braham_Schools or his own feed @Supt_Gagner.

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