MISD Leader Awards are given annually by the Foundation to recognize District staff who go above and beyond for their students, colleagues, and the community. Staff are nominated and voted for by their peers to receive this award.
This year’s recipients are not only current district staff but are also both Marion alum! Chad Zrudsky and Brenda Caraway were surprised during Marion High School’s pep assembly in May. The cheerleaders and band were getting the crowd fired up and Melissa Cannon of FMI stepped up to the microphone to read her nomination of Brenda Caraway, MISD Food Service Director.
Melissa wrote in her nomination, “Brenda is a wonderful leader in the Marion Independent School District as she goes above and beyond. She is responsible for providing a meal to the many students at Marion, some of which school is the only place they eat. She takes the time out of her busy job to learn all of the students’ names at the high school as well as get to know them. She does the same thing at the other buildings, when she subs in their lunchrooms. She also helps out at the Marion Masquerade for the entire weekend, putting in countless hours. Finally, she and Tim support Marion’s students at athletic as well as fine art’s events. She is truly a wonderful leader!”
Eric Trilk then shared what he and fellow high school teacher Madi Ramaekers wrote in their nominations of Chad Zrudsky. Madi wrote, “As the Associate Principal, Chad provides leadership to the building constantly. Since I began teaching I have felt very supported but also given the freedom to grow as a teacher. I believe he always has students’ best interests in mind as he makes decisions for the building.” Eric continued by sharing his own words, “Chad is a role model of what the entire Marion Independent School District should represent. I’m not sure if employees fully understand the difficulties of the job that he has and how tolling it can be. While his position is difficult, Chad never allows it to impact the relationship that he has established with his coworkers. He is a positive and professional staff member who is essential to the high school and deserves this award many times over.”
The Foundation was able to make these surprise announcements with families, students and staff present thanks to the collaboration of MHS Principal Greg Semler and the help of other district staff.