Posted: Friday, May 20, 2022

Greenville County Schools Announces Employees of the Year

2022 marks the 19th year of our Employee Recognition Program that honors all categories of Greenville County Schools’ employees, sponsored by Greenville Federal Credit Union.

Greenville County Schools announced Employee of the Year Awards in six categories at the Salute to Education Banquet held Thursday, May 19, 2022. Each award winner received $500 cash and a special award commissioned by Greenville Federal Credit Union. Their school or department also received $500 cash so all employees can share in the honor.

Congratulations to these outstanding employees!

L-R Paul Hughes, President & CEO of Greenville Federal Credit Union, Phillip Davie, Brad Griffith, Roger Pennington, Mary Hearne, Vee Popat, Joy McKinney, Dr. Burke Royster
L-R Paul Hughes, President & CEO of Greenville Federal Credit Union, Phillip Davie, Brad Griffith, Roger Pennington, Mary Hearne, Vee Popat, Joy McKinney, Dr. Burke Royster

School Support Employee of the Year Award - Joy McKinney, Office Clerk from Oakview Elementary

Joy has served the district in several positions, but most recently as a clerk at Oakview Elementary School since 2012.  Joy is the face of Oakview Elementary School.   Joy is described as a person with unending compassion, always positive and hard working.  She makes everyone feel like they are the most important person in the building.  No detail goes unattended to if Joy is in the picture.  She wants every area of Oakview to be successful and does her best to assist every person in need.  She loves meeting prospective families touring Oakview and leads tours of the school.  Joy is her name and that is what she loves to spread.

District Support Employee of the Year - Mary Hearne, Secretary to the Executive Director of Human Resources at the Central Office

If you have ever met Mary Hearne then you know she is one of the most caring individuals you have ever met. Her strongest qualities are attention to detail, concern for people, sense of urgency, easy to work with, very organized, and professional.  Mary provides excellent customer service to external and internal customers, alike, and provides structure and organization to the Human Resources department – she is the glue that holds the team together.  She has created a positive climate and has built positive relationships with her colleagues.  Mary has demonstrated time and again that she is dedicated to Greenville County Schools and to making the Human Resources department run efficiently and effectively.

Operations Employee of the Year - Roger Pennington, Plant Engineer at J.L. Mann High Academy

Roger is very dependable and dedicated to his profession.  He is even-keeled and calm and leads by example.  He works right alongside his staff, doesn’t instruct or ask them to do anything he doesn’t do as well.  Roger has helped to create a culture of excellence at J.L. Mann, and the students want to do their part as well.  He takes pride in the school which sets the tone.  People are happier when the building is clean – it still looks new! Everyone looks up to Roger and they constantly see someone who is hard working.  He is driven to give the students the best learning environment they can have at J.L. Mann.

Assistant School Administrator of the Year Award - Brad Griffith, Assistant Principal at J.L. Mann High Academy

Brad is an indispensable part of the administrative team at J. L. Mann. He handles even the most stressful situations in a calm, efficient manner—a quality he has developed throughout his 25 years as a public educator. Brad’s positive attitude is infectious and helps to create a school culture that is based upon mutual respect. When students are having a bad day, they feel better after having a conversation with Mr. Griffith. His dependability and wealth of institutional knowledge are integral to the effectiveness and efficiency of the school.  Brad directly contributes to the outstanding academic reputation and student success of J.L. Mann.

School Administrator of the Year - Vee Popat, Director of the Fine Arts Center

Vee is an accomplished practicing, professional musician, but he also has a keen awareness of what it takes to successfully operate a public school.  He is an outstanding leader with a warm and friendly personality. When people say he loves his school and staff, they mean it!  You can see it in how he approaches everything he does for the Fine Arts Center and Greenville County Schools.  Vee holds the bar high for himself, his staff and Fine Arts Center students.

District Professional Employee of the Year - Phillip Davie, Associate Superintendent for Operations

Phillip is the consummate professional. He is trustworthy, patient, inclusive, dependable and knowledgeable.  Phillip leads all of the district’s operational departments and is known for working alongside the staff in each of the departments he supervises.  During the implementation of COVID protocols and responses, Phillip played an integral role.  He led the district through many challenges, keeping students and employees safe.  Phillip is the type of leader who inspires those around him to not only be better employees, but to be better people.


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