When you look at any successful organization, you will always find people behind the scenes who are dedicated, organized and who put all their energy and efforts into whatever task they have been given. Rosemarie Wilkening (Romy) is one such person to our organization. Romy serves as a part-time ESOL paraprofessional, working in classrooms and with small groups of students as a safety net instructor. She also manages all of the communication with our Hispanic families as their liaison and advocate.
Everyday Romy ensures that all of our students and families, regardless of the language they speak, feel informed and included. She routinely goes above and beyond the call of duty for our staff by translating written communication and sitting in on parent conferences long after her paid time has ended. Over the years she has consistently provided literacy support to our youngest at risk students. She meets with students daily, never missing an opportunity to boost their self esteem and reinforce their work in the classroom.
Romy’s willingness to help out wherever and whenever needed and her fast, efficient, no nonsense style has quickly earned her the valued respect of her peers. She has built strong relationships with her peers and the teachers she serves. You will always see her doing whatever is necessary, in order to benefit the school – even if it does not pertain to her normal duties. That’s just another way she shows her dedication to teamwork. Her attention to detail and her willingness to help in any way make all of our jobs easier.
Romy has gone out of her way to build relationships with many of our neediest families over the years. She’s been to their homes, been to court, interpreted legal documents, investigated immigration laws, met with distraught families and struggling children daily, and even cleaned out the spare room at her house in case she had to foster any of these families in need. Her heart knows no bounds!
Everything Romy does plays a direct role in educating children and fostering their academic success, her extraordinary compassion ensures that even their emotional and physical needs are met. She is a truly irreplaceable part of what makes our learning community a success.
So today we celebrated "Romy Wilkening Day" at Chets Creek! Not only was she chosen to represent our school this year as the Employee of the Year but then went on to be selected out of all the school district employees as the Duval County Employee of the Year! We are proud of you Romy!!!