2017 Support Person of the Year

2017 Support Person of the Year
Posted on 05/19/2017
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Friday, May 20, 2016

Bluffton High School bilingual liaison named
district’s 2017 ‘Support Person of the Year’

BEAUFORT – A Bluffton High School bilingual liaison was named today as the Beaufort County School District’s 2017 “Support Person of the Year.”  The selection of Alexa Mencias was announced at a breakfast recognizing schools’ individual honorees.

Support staff can also include social workers, school nurses, bookkeepers, office managers, teacher assistants, school secretaries and technology and data specialists. 

Mencias joined the Beaufort County School District 10 years ago after working in the private sector.  At Bluffton High, she serves as a liaison between the school and its Hispanic students and families, dealing with a wide range of student and family issues.

“When you have a job you love, it makes a world of difference,” Mencias said.  “I really love connecting with students and connecting with their families.”

Bluffton High School Principal Denise Garison praised Mencias as “someone with a big heart, someone who’s always got a smile on her face.”

“She’s so skilled at bridging language and cultural gaps with our Hispanic families,” Garison said, “and she works hard to help students and their parents understand the value of a high school diploma as a step toward a brighter future.”

Superintendent Jeff Moss said that Mencias is an excellent representative for the school district’s diverse array of support staff.

“A school’s support staff is its backbone.  It’s the foundation, Moss said.  “A strong support staff makes it possible for students and teachers to succeed in classrooms.  The people we’re honoring today are critical elements in making schools effective.

Mencias was awarded a $250 gas card from Parker’s, which sponsored today’s breakfast.  Parker’s operates 48 convenience stores across southeastern Georgia and South Carolina and opened its first northern Beaufort County store in Port Royal last year.  Parker’s funded the event through its “Fueling the Community” program, which gives one cent of every gallon of gas sold on the first Wednesday of each month to local schools.

Providing a high-quality education to students helps to ensure a higher quality of life for everyone in Beaufort County, and Parker’s is happy to sponsor the district’s 2017 Support Person of the Year Awards Breakfast, said CEO Greg Parker." We congratulate and thank Ms. Mencias for everything she does for the students and parents at Bluffton High School.” 

2016-17 school “Support Personnel of the Year”

Battery Creek High

Christine Whiteleather

Job coach

Beaufort Elementary

Cathy Power


Beaufort High

Julie Gadley


Beaufort Middle

Sheral Spencer

Media assistant

Bluffton Elementary, ECC

Diloris Contreras

Bilingual liaison

Bluffton High

Alexa Mencias

Bilingual liaison

Bluffton Middle

Catherine Woloszyk

Office manager

Broad River Elementary

Denise Drake


Coosa Elementary

Sandra Gardener

Administrative associate

District Office

Charlotte Waskiewicz

Technology program manager

H.E. McCracken Middle

Michael Viskovich

Administrative associate

Hilton Head Island ECC

Anne Jacoby


Hilton Head Island High

Katie O’Sullivan

Administrative assistant

Hilton Head Island IB Elementary

Jennifer French

Special education assistant

Hilton Head Island Middle

Barbara Perry

Administrative assistant

Hilton Head Island SCA

Margaret Borasky


Islands Academy

Andrea Murray

Social worker

Lady's Island Elementary

Jana Sanders

Office manager and bookkeeper

Lady's Island Middle

Kathleen Bingham

Social worker

May River High

Linda Dietz

Office manager

Michael C. Riley Elementary

Alia Delong

Media assistant

Mossy Oaks Elementary

Webster Ogle

Behavior management specialist

Okatie Elementary

Lynn Nagel

Administrative assistant

Port Royal Elementary

Elizabeth Bornscheuer

Teacher assistant

Pritchardville Elementary

Alicia Baruffi

Bilingual liaison

Red Cedar Elementary

Helena Williams

Kindergarten assistant

River Ridge Academy

Deborah Wilkerson

Media assistant

Robert Smalls International

Toni Burnsed

System support specialist

Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary

Daryl Harris

Behavior management specialist

St. Helena Elementary

Denise Simmons

Behavior management specialist

Whale Branch Elementary/Davis

Cheryl Morris

Media assistant

Whale Branch Early College High

Virginia Henneberry

Office manager

Whale Branch Middle

Marion Smalls

Behavior interventionist

Adult Education

Dorothy Gregory

Administrative associate

Beaufort-Jasper ACE

Maribel Bueso-Welch

Bilingual liaison