Annie Scarola, a senior office assistant in the Pupil Personnel Services Department, is the first recipient of the Lakeland Central School District’s Mission Essential Recognition Award.

Board President Denise Kness and Superintendent Dr. George Stone presented Scarola with the award in a surprise ceremony on Feb. 8. Recipients are given a specially developed pin and certificate. All winners will be recognized at the year-end Board of Education meeting in June.

Scarola began working in the district in 2003 and came to the pupil personnel services department in January 2008. In nominating her, Dr. Catherine Le Blanc cited the many ways that Annie meets each of the district’s core belief statements of respect, kindness, responsibility, accountability, and honest and ethical behavior.

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“Each and every day, Annie comes to work to help children and families,” Le Blanc wrote. “She interfaces with hundreds of providers, parents, administrators across two-three counties, and approaches all relationships with an open and honest attitude.

“She is the first staff person that our parents encounter,” she continued. “With each and every parent, from the youngest non-English speaking parent to great grandparents acting as guardians for their young family members, Annie listens to all parental concerns with patience and respect… In sum, please give attention and recognition to…a face that exemplifies the mission, vision and goals we all hold dear.”

The goal of the Mission Essential Recognition Program, which began in January, is to identify and recognize employees who, in their contributions and service to the district, exemplify the district’s mission, core beliefs and vision. These individuals are considered “Mission Essential.”

In handing out the award, the district stated; “We recognize and appreciate that the Lakeland Central School District is rich with talented and dedicated employees. EVERY staff member has an important role, responsibility and stake in the safety, security and success of our students.”

Any district staff member, students and community members can nominate district employees for consideration using the online form at A committee of district stakeholders will meet monthly to consider all nominations and select that month’s honoree.  Anyone not selected will be reconsidered in the next review.