Employee of the Month

Ms. Donna Gollaway

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Ms. Donna Gollaway

We honor an employee in our school system whose colleagues refer to as their “treasure.”  The school – Shady Side Elementary. The employee – Ms. Donna Gollaway, Teacher’s Aide for Special Education.  Ms. Gollaway works with several students on an individual basis; and although she has her own caseload, she is constantly providing support for all students in the classroom, always bringing out the best in all of them.  As a former substitute at Shady Side, Donna was highly sought after and booked solid because teachers knew she would run their class efficiently, and challenge students to work their hardest when the teacher was absent.  One teacher had this to say: “Some of my students’ best work came when Ms. Gollaway was subbing because she encouraged them to work their hardest to try to ‘surprise and impress’ their teacher when she came back.” 

Donna is truly dedicated to Shady Side.  She has volunteered during her own personal time to make a new student feel comfortable.  She also assists in the after-school homework club and helps the neediest students to complete homework that may not be completed at home.  Donna always fills in as a substitute on a minutes’ notice with a smile.  She has a “go to” attitude and will do whatever is needed. She always provides a warm and caring environment.  Last Spring during a power outage when students had to be kept on the bus for 90 minutes, Donna went from bus to bus in the pouring rain to relay messages, get students off the buses to use the rest room and calmed the nerves of many youngsters. 

Ms. Gollaway is creative in her approach in helping struggling students. Her goal is to make sure that the students understand the content of what is being taught. She is bright, motivated, a quick learner and has the ability to digest volumes of information.  She is confidential with student information and always has their best interest at heart.  Donna has demonstrated the ability to articulate information and ideas and still be encouraging with her words.  She is always welcoming students as they arrive in the morning with a smile, an encouraging word, and a “high five.” 

Donna Gollaway – you are an integral part of Shady Side Elementary School.  Teachers always know that you can be counted on and that students will behave properly and learn in your presence.  There is a mutual respect in the classroom that you demand, and students thrive when you are around.  You have built relationships with so many students at Shady Side even though you do not work directly with them in your job capacity.  When a group of fifth graders were asked why they connect with you so well, their answer was, “She just GETS US!” 

So, on behalf of the Board of Education, the students, teachers and staff at Shady Side and all of Anne Arundel County Public Schools, we congratulate you in being selected Employee of the Month for April 2019.

 

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