Employee of the Month
September 2023 - Nicole Struble
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August 23 - Ernie Gursslin
Ernie has been the lead point person for the HEAP Summer Cooling Program for both
Orleans and Genesee since 2022. Ernie is responsible for ordering, pick up and installation
of air conditioner that we are contracted as a vendor to install for the counties. Because of
Ernie’s excellent customer service skills, we have gotten many compliments about he and
his helper. Per Elizabeth Jubenville (Sr. Social Welfare Examiner for Orleans) “Fabulous
remarks and comments on your install team. Every single call– they are full of compliments.
They make our customers happy and we appreciate it!” We also got a call from a customer
in Genesee that was very happy with the way Ernie explained the use of the unit and how to
operate. “He even gave me his cell number in case I had any issues or questions, now that is
SERVICE!” Many thanks to Ernie and his team. Thank you Ernie for your hard work on this
program and always giving our customers the best possible customer service
July 2023 - Freddie Stewart
June 2023 - Sunny Lin
Sunny joined Head Start last fall as a substitute / floater. And, yes, Sunny has fulfilled her responsibilities in the position but she has also done so much more. Each and every day, she greets each staff person and child with her contagious smile. As Sunny “floats” in and out of each of the classrooms, she makes it a point to connect with and get to know each of the children individually rather than waiting out the time until she goes to the next room. She has also stepped up to cover absences and vacancies. When this happens, Sunny truly does “step up” and partners equally with the other staff. She contributes ideas to planning, actively engages children in learning and addresses concerns / needs of children without needing direction. Outside of the classroom, Sunny can often be found emptying garbage, mopping, vacuuming, riding the bus as a monitor, etc. She seems to never sit still! She has been an essential part of the team in Batavia since she has begun here. Her name certainly matches the positive person she is and delight she brings to each classroom, everyday. This past month we have been especially short staffed, with many lead teachers/teachers out. Sunny has filled in, in each classroom, taking on the role of teacher and lead teacher when needed. She is
able to recognize each classrooms needs, routine, and individual children’s needs throughout the center to provide the best continuity of care. In Head Start this is so important. It is apparent that children thrive on routine, and the comfort of a familiar face. Sunny provides this when a loved teacher is out for the day. Sunny not only takes on the roles of teachers/lead teachers she also has assisted in cleaning classrooms and been bus monitor. Her ability to conform to the needs of the center in this time of short staffing and conform to such important roles at any given time puts her above and beyond what is expected.
May 2023 - Jeanette Worsley
I just received a status report on Axis of Care from Jeanette Worsley. I am amazed at where she has taken this program! I created this program so it is near and dear to my heart. I tried to stay heavily involved in the program but when we experienced staffing changes in Finance, I had to redirect my attention to other matters. Jeanette kept things going and formed partnerships and arranged community events that surpassed my expectations. She has touched the lives of many and has helped to heal the wounds of those who have given up on the healthcare system. In April she has coordinated a number of events for May and has truly helped our agency be recognized for the important role we play in making our communities healthier. On 4/18 I was forwarded a call from a partner from U of R. She could not stop gushing about how amazing Jeanette and the Axis of Care team is. I am recognizing Jeanette’s achievements in April but must also mention that I am amazed at how much Jeanette has grown since she took on the role of Case Manager Specialist-Health Coach. I could not be more proud of Jeanette. She truly represents success and the spirit of our agency.
April 2023 - Melissa DeRose
Melissa is always willing to help out and support staff wherever she can. She is always kind and has a positive attitude. She works hard every day and always reaches out to see how she can make other’s roles a little easier. Melissa has a very calm demeanor and helps people feel comfortable in talking to/with her. She treats staff and customers with dignity and respect and always makes people feel welcome.
Melissa is always pleasantly willing to help any staff in any area. Melissa jumps right in without question and always aligns her attitude with the agency’s mission. Melissa does a lot of “behind the scene” digging to put additional documents together that represent all the agency accomplishments to share with NYSCAA, Department of State and partners. Melissa is always a positive role model and mentor, especially to new staff as well as current staff. Melissa is pleasant, kind and respectful to staff and clients in person and on the phone. Melissa has taken TEAMS, Microsoft, Excel trainings, PowerPoint, Publisher trainings to enhance her skillset. This has enabled Melissa to do multiple reports in multiple ways for the agency and outside of the agency for sharing. Melissa has assisted with DOS CSBG Standards, became an agency digital literacy mentor (which brings in revenue for the agency) and is always looking to save the agency money.
Melissa most recently has had challenges with the changes for the OCFS clearance process and even with the added work and changes, she has done an exception job to get our new hires through the process.
Always willing to jump in to help, Melissa works very well with new staff and more importantly our customers. Her calm and kind demeanor put people at ease and she always represents the agency in a positive way.
Thank you, Melissa, for all you do!
March 2023 - Ricky Standish
Ricky Joined the facilities team in July 2022 after many years with the agency Weatherization crew. In the very short time that Ricky has been in the role, he has taken on and completed many projects that had not been attended to in quite some time. Some of the notable work projects have been the clean out of the basement in Medina, clean out of the Eastern Orleans Community Center, clean up of the basement in the Head Start Administrative building and the Main Street Store after a major plumbing issue at each site. In addition to his regular workload, Ricky is always willing to work the monthly food distribution and lend a hand to any/all employees. During the December blizzard, Ricky assured that the buildings were safe, and came out in the evening to re-set the fire alarm (more than once) in Albion. Ricky has been an excellent mentor for our Job Development volunteers. He takes the time to work with them and provide them with the skills and knowledge to complete tasks and prepare them for job opportunities once they are done in the program. We are fortunate to have Ricky leading the Facilities team and ensure that our sites and workspace are well taken care of. In addition to the above, Ricky exhibits flexibility and an ongoing positive attitude, even in stressful and difficult situations. He is polite and respectful and treats all with dignity and respect!