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Shirkey congratulates education professional of the year

‘Dawn Hendges consistently demonstrates selfless service to her community’

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on Friday applauded Dawn Hendges of Western School District in Jackson County for being named one of Michigan’s two 2020 Education Support Staff Professionals of the Year.

“Michigan teachers could not have performed so exceptionally well in these trying times of pandemic if it weren’t for the outstanding work of their support staff,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Dawn Hendges consistently demonstrates selfless service to her community, and this award is well-deserved.”

Hendges is a food and nutrition service worker at Parma Elementary School, where she has worked for 20 years.

Hendges’ district leaders explained that during this unprecedented time of the pandemic, Hendges has gone above and beyond for students, ensuring they have high-quality nutritious meals every day and promoting the location of food distribution centers in the district so no student went hungry.

The other 2020 Education Support Staff Professional of the Year is Holly Holm, an administrative assistant with the Crawford-Oscoda-Ogemaw-Roscommon Intermediate School District in Roscommon.

Hendges and Holm are now eligible for the national Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) Award, overseen by the U.S. Department of Education.

“The Rise Award is a new, national award created to honor school support staff,” Shirkey said. “I would not be at all surprised if these two talented women win this award as well. They are certainly deserving.”