FARMINGTON — The Mt. Blue school district has launched the “Staff Members of the Month” award. The first staff members honored are Katie Fournier, the school counselor at Cascade Brook School, and Amy Eustis, the secretary at Academy Hill School.

Board of Directors Chair Carol Coles announced the award at the board’s Tuesday, Dec. 14, meeting. The board will be awarding a support staff member and a professional staff member with the honor every month.

During the announcement, Coles explained why the district chose Fournier and Eustis as the first recipients.

“[Amy Eustis] is always willing to help others. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis; has a kind and caring heart,” Coles said. “She helps make every day an amazing day at Academy Hill School.”

Coles said Fournier “easily makes connections with staff and students.”

“[Fournier] handles the toughest situations with ease, and brings a wonderful sense of positivity to Cascade Brook School,” Coles said.

Coles enjoyed announcing the new award. She described it as a “pleasure.”

“That was fun. I like it when we get to do stuff like that,” Coles said.

In an email, Elkington explained that he was inspired by other districts “around the country” who have their own award and the RSU 9 administration “felt our people needed to be recognized like this.”

“We are a TEAM in RSU 9 and we want everyone to see that all members of the TEAM deserve recognition no matter what their responsibilities,” Elkington wrote.

Eustis, who has been the Academy Hill School secretary since July 2020, said she was “very shocked, but also very humbled” when she learned she won the award.

“It kind of brought tears to my eyes because I didn’t expect it,” Eustis said. “I think it’s always nice to be thanked. So I appreciate it so much.”

Since taking the job, Eustis said she has seen the role of secretary and its duties immensely transform. Now, Eustis helps with COVID-19 contact tracing and parent calls, among other responsibilities.

Elkington said that recipients will receive a letter from him and a framed certificate. They will also be honored at the district’s board meeting, on their website and their Facebook page.

To win the award, staff members across the district can nominate their peers. Then, a “small team reviews the recommendations and selects one person from support staff and professional staff,” Elkington wrote.

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