December Employees of the Month Recognition
Elementary Employee of the Month
Ms. Deborah Dunfee currently instructs students in 2nd through 6th grade and has been an invaluable member of our Special Education Department for over fifteen years. Her colleagues agree and credit her with being a “phenomenal teacher”. Dunfee purchased a summer home in Lanark Village back in ’95 and moved here temporarily, after the loss of her husband in 2003, and decided then to make Franklin County her home full time.
Dunfee received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She had a previous career in business, which included working in the aerospace industry as well as the IRS. She returned to college to receive a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education and embarked on a whole new career in Education.
When asked what the most fulfilling aspect of her career is, Ms. Dunfee stated, “Playing a part in the utter joy and excitement students exhibit as they make sense and find meaning in the world around them.” Her colleagues describe her as, “Structured, consistent, yet caring, flexible and very much in tune with what each student needs.” Dunfee ended with these words to share,” And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Support Staff Employee of the Month
Ms. Sherry Ware joined our Seahawk family and the Guidance Department last May and continues to support students and staff from kindergarten through seventh grade. She also serves as the Student Services Coordinator for the Take Stock In Children program. Ms. Ware was nominated by her peers who stated, “she has implemented new programs at FCS and takes on any task without hesitation, she goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our students and staff.” Since arriving at FCS, Ms. Ware has implemented a new character education program for students KG-6th grade, which includes a citizen of the month recognition ceremony, where parents are invited to celebrate with their child. Ware lives by these words, “Be the person who makes others feel special, Be known for your kindness and grace.”
Ms. Ware received a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish as well as Communication from Florida State University. She went on to achieve a Master’s Degree in Guidance & Counseling and is a licensed mental health counselor. Ware brings a vast array of knowledge and experience with over 20 years in the public school system. She has worked at the elementary, middle & high school level as well as at the District level. Her peers label her as, “energetic and a great team player.”
Ware discovered “the beauty of Franklin County” as she describes while vacationing at a family home in Apalachicola and made a planned decision to make the move last spring. Ware credits, “being a part of a team focused on making a difference in the lives of others” as the most fulfilling aspect of her career. She added, “helping our students achieve their goals, see their value and supporting their academic and social-emotional growth and their families” is the most rewarding. She ended with these words, “Be kind.”
Secondary Employee of the Month
Ms. Karyl Gavigan is a Franklin County native and a proud graduate of Apalachicola High School. This year marks her 20th year of dedicated service to the students of Franklin County. Her peers recognize her “great commitment to the students” in the fact that she is always among the first to arrive on campus each day. Gavigan currently serves as an Art teacher for FCS and has a culinary class with eighth graders. She also sponsors the Beta Club which she describes as, “a group of honor students whose mission is to be of service in all walks of life.”
Gavigan attended the University of West Florida and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art. After college, she worked as an assistant librarian and also assisted as a Girl Scout leader with her daughter’s troop. Mrs. Gavigan stated, “There is no place like home” and made the decision to move back to Franklin County and has been with the District since. Her colleagues describe her teaching style as, “encouraging yet challenging” and said that she has helped “nurture great talents that have come through her doors over the years.”
Ms. Gavigan commented that the most rewarding aspect of her career is to “see the students grasp a concept and achieve high results. Also, when they go on to amazing degrees and career paths in their future.” She mentioned that she lives by these words, “Live honestly and humbly. Be helpful and mostly, be a dependable friend.” Those that work closely with Ms. Gavigan feel she is very deserving of this honor and added, “Many have been inspired by her professionalism on multiple occasions.”
Franklin County School District is very fortunate to have so many outstanding employees and we love to celebrate their hard work each month!