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Guiding Star 1st Semester Recipients Honored

Independence Local Schools revealed the winners of their “Guiding Star” Awards presented by Tusk Financial Solutions’ Jeff Malarik and Tulip Tree Quilts Owner Jo Ann Keller on February 4 during two surprise presentations.

Mary Dolejs, a guidance counselor at Independence High School, received the “Guiding Star” Teacher Award for her dedication to both the students and other staff members. Along with her award, she received a $250 professional development grant from Tusk Financial Solutions’ Jeff Malarik and Tulip Tree Quilts Owner Jo Ann Keller, a $250 professional development grant from the Independence Educational Foundation, and flowers and a gift certificate from Independence Flowers and Gifts.

Dolejs was nominated by freshman Maddie Harper. Harper said, “What amazes me most is the compassion she shows for us as students. Mrs. Dolejs is always there for us if we need her and she loves sharing our input on her many innovative suggestions. You can just tell that she really cares about the students she helps. She always has a smile on her face and kind words to steer you in the right direction. My determination and will to learn are helping me through the academics, but the guidance, support and benevolence of Mrs. Dolejs are what help me to be a woman of integrity as she is.”

Darlene Grams, administrative assistant at the central office of Independence Local Schools, was the recipient of the “Guiding Star” Support Staff Award for the devotion she has toward her job. In addition to her award, she also received $250 from the Independence Educational Foundation and flowers and a gift certificate from Independence Flowers and Gifts.

Grams was nominated by her colleague Sandy McCullough who wrote, “Darlene continues to be dedicated to customer service and personal pride in her work while facing tremendous challenges and responsibilities. Unlike her previous role as a building secretary, much of Darlene's work is considered "behind the scenes," but is critical to the operation of our entire district. Darlene prides herself on staying ahead of the curve while supporting her administrative team. Her smiling face and cheerful greeting every morning is a pleasant way to begin each day. Although she may be working with sophisticated, detailed data and tasks, she is never too busy to stop what she is doing to greet a delivery person, visitor, or answer a message from a teacher. Darlene is willing to go the extra mile to get her job done, even if it means working through lunch or staying late. We can always depend on Darlene. She is a true professional who continues to look for opportunities for professional growth. She attends professional development trainings on a regular basis in order to ensure accuracy in her ever-evolving job responsibilities.”

“Both of these dedicated members of the Independence Local Schools deserve to be recognized for their tireless hard work, attentiveness and compassion, not only to the district, but to the kids and staff whose lives they touch on a daily basis,” said Steve Marlow, superintendent of Independence Local Schools.

Who should be our 2nd semester winners?  

Click here to nominate your favorite teacher or support staff member.  Deadline is April 3, 2014.


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Education Administration Center  |  7733 Stone Road  |  Independence, OH 44131
P: (216) 642-5850  |  F: (216) 642-3482 | Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM