During the October 28th meeting of the Belleville Board of Education, Belleville Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Tomko of Sparta was presented with the prestigious Above and Beyond Award from state committee representatives of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR). 

The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits.

The award is given in limited numbers by state committees to employers who have had at least one of their supervisors/managers recognized with a Patriot Award, and who have signed or agree to sign an ESGR Statement of Support.  Dr. Tomko is a past recipient of the Patriot Award for his assistance and commitment to active members of the guard and armed services and members of their families. 

"It is such an honor to receive this recognition," Tomko remarked after the ceremony.  "I strongly feel it is the duty of every employer to support the men and women who leave for active duty.  These heroes are giving the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and they need to be supported in every way possible."