IRMO –Six teachers and two support staff members from Lexington-Richland School District Five received a big surprise Aug. 17, as a reward for not missing a day of work last school year.
Through a donation from Horace Mann Insurance, the District Five Foundation provided four $500 awards and four $100 awards to staff during a districtwide event. The district’s Teacher P.A.S.S. (Perfect Attendance Spells Success) Program was implemented last school year to encourage teachers to earn perfect attendance. David Stanley & Associates, a primary provider of Horace Mann Insurance, donated the funds to the District Five Foundation, and winners were selected through a random drawing of teachers and school support staff with perfect attendance.
Teacher P.A.S.S. Program recipients included: Irmo Middle School teacher William Green ($100), Oak Pointe Elementary teacher Craig Andrysczyk ($100), Chapin High School teacher Debra Whitmore ($100), Irmo High School Support Employee Faye Golding ($100), Irmo Middle School teacher Melinda Pedroni ($500), Dutch Fork High School teacher Melissa Turner ($500), Spring Hill High School teacher Jair Ararat Villegas ($500), and Chapin Elementary support staff Laura Bull ($500).
“We know that doing our best starts with being present,” said David Stanley of David Stanley & Associates. “Our teachers and school staff are already doing a wonderful job, so this program and contest is a fun way to give them added incentive to be present and show up each day wanting to make that positive impact on the lives of children…and that’s what our company is all about: making a positive impact on educators and on the community.”
District Five Foundation President Vera Timmons said, “It’s so important to have teachers and staff present each day for our students. Anything we can do to promote perfect attendance is a great thing to do, and we want to thank Horace Mann for partnering with us on this program.”
The Teacher P.A.S.S. Program is modeled after a former incentive Horace Mann created in School District Five for students, which provided bikes for students earning perfect attendance. During the 2017-2018 school year, the company piloted a student program in several schools, providing scooters for students displaying positive behavior.
“We truly try to be good business partners with the community and support the schools because we know that the strength of the community comes from families and our students,” said Jessica Harley, Horace Mann director of school relations. “These programs are a small way that we can say ‘We are here for you and value our teachers, support staff and education.’”