May 15, 2017 from the Kentucky Association of School Administrators
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) named its finalists for the 2017 Fred Award.
1. Kathy Fryman (Custodian, Augusta Independent School District)
2. Sandra Harrison (Family Resource Center Coordinator, Pike County Schools)
3. Connie Wolford (Instructional Assistant, Russell County Schools)
The Fred Award is a coveted KASA award, drawing in applications each year from school districts across Kentucky. The award was inspired by Fred Shea, the postman who became the subject of Mark Sanborn’s national bestseller, The Fred Factor. Finalists are selected for this award by a statewide judging panel representing leaders from school districts across the commonwealth.
This statewide, competitive award recognizes non-administrative staff, students, and volunteers whose daily efforts are deemed extraordinary and integral to a positive learning atmosphere in their school communities. The first Fred Award was presented to Mr. Fred Strange, a custodian at Grant’s Lick Elementary School in Campbell County in 2008.
A film crew visited each finalist’s district to capture the spirit of their service. Film crews visited Russell County May 8, Pike County May 11, and Augusta Independent May 15. The video will be used by the judging panel to determine the statewide winner who will be named July 28 at KASA’s annual leadership institute in Louisville. The winner and finalists receive a distinguished marble plaque, a copy of Mark Sanborn’s The Fred Factor, complimentary lodging at the Galt House Hotel, and a financial gift of $250 (finalists) or $500 (winner).
“The Fred Award remains one of our most impactful programs,” said Dr. Rhonda Caldwell, deputy director. “In our tenth year of the program, we have recognized more than 200 Freds in Kentucky school districts. It is one of the best things our organization does each year. The Fred program builds a positive culture where everyone makes a difference, nurtures caring relationships, turns ordinary moments into extraordinary ones, and inspires others through positivity.”
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the award program. All statewide winners since 2008 are invited to the celebration ceremony July 28 with Mark Sanborn. A list of previous winners can be found at www.kasa.org -> Leadership Development -> Awards & Recognition.
KASA is the largest school administrator group in Kentucky, representing more than 3,000 education leaders from across the commonwealth. Formed in 1969, KASA connects education leaders to policymakers, legislators, and other interest groups, and provides numerous benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators.
Brief introduction of the finalists:
Kathy Fryman, Custodian, Augusta Independent Schools – Kathy Fryman has been called the matriarch of the Augusta Independent Schools family. Her heart for others also gives her titles like therapist, nurse and friend in addition to custodian. Members of the community, parents and students call Fryman at home when they need inside the building to acquire forgotten homework, lunch boxes or uniforms. They are always met at school with keys, a warm smile and encouraging words.
When teachers, staff members or students mention something they like to Fryman, that item will often appear on a teacher’s desk or in a student’s backpack. The author of her nomination letter says that if Augusta School employees were asked who helped them become successful they would often answer with the name Kathy Fryman. The letter also states “she has a unique way of making others feel nurtured, comforted and cared for like a mother or grandmother.”
When a fellow custodian started a two-month medical leave after a surgical procedure, Fryman insisted the district not hire a substitute because she was capable of covering both jobs until he returned to work. She officially retires from the district after 29 years of service on June 30, 2017.
Sandra Harrison, Family Resource Center Coordinator, Pike County Schools – There is no money in the Bevins Elementary School budget for the Family Resource Center. However, Sandra Harrison finds a way to ensure that her students’ needs do not go unmet. Lack of jobs in the area’s coal industry has caused many families to be in need of assistance for items such as school supplies, health care and even food. Harrison helps fulfill all of those needs with her ability to reach out to the community and ask for help and to seek out grants. She reached out to Kits for Kidz and received 300 free school supply kits for students. She then helped the district’s four other schools acquire similar grants for more than $20,000 in school supplies.
Harrison prepared a spaghetti dinner for a school family simply because she felt they could benefit from a hot meal. She has also spent weekends working on a program which brought coats, toys, clothing, food, etc. to more than 700 children in the community. The author of her nomination letter says, “Sandy is focused on removing non-academic barriers to learning as a means to enhance student academic success.”
Connie Wolford, Kindergarten Instructional Assistant, Russell County Public Schools – Connie Wolford may take the word assistant to a new level. In her school district, instructional assistants are only asked to work during instructional time. However, that is not the way “Ms. Connie” operates. She comes to her classroom early each day and helps students prepare for a fun day at school and stays to ensure they get to their bus or parents safely.
She also volunteers at the school’s culture fair and the annual book fair. Wolford makes sure students get to where they need to be during the district-wide Christmas play. The author of her nomination letter says Wolford doesn’t just take the class to the restroom and stand there. She helps each child button, zip, tie and do whatever is needed to help them not be disheveled. Ms. Connie also has been known to barter at the lunch table. For example, she may advocate for a special needs student who has difficulty chewing and trade for softer food items from other students. She delivers meals to the elderly with fellow church members and orders flowers for ill or bereaved members of the community. She is also a devoted wife, daughter, mother and grandmother.
For more information on each nominee, interested parties should contact the following:
• Kathy Fryman – Lisa McCane, superintendent, Augusta Independent Schools @ (606) 756-2545
• Sandra Harrison – Rosalind Stanley, public relations director, Pike County Schools @ (606) 433-9247
• Connie Wolford – Michael Ford, superintendent, Russell County Schools @ (270) 343-3191