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Three Finalists Selected for Supporting Services Employee of the Year

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Three supporting services employees have been named finalists for the 2024 Supporting Services Employee of the Year. This year’s annual awards, given by SEIU Local 500 and MCPS, is recognizing Chaula Butterworth, paraeducator, Farmland Elementary School; Robin McCue, administrative secretary III, Department of Athletics, and Bruno Smith, building service manager III, Mill Creek Towne Elementary School. The winner will be announced at the Champions for Children celebration on May 1.

Read more about the finalists:

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Bruno Smith is building service manager III at Mill Creek Towne Elementary School. He has worked for MCPS for seven years.

Capable, considerate and trustworthy, Smith takes pride in his work, responds quickly to jobs that need to be handled and takes on the stresses of his job with a smile. He deals with issues calmly and professionally. He understands that his work is critical to students—by keeping the school clean, well-stocked and damage-free, he ensures that they can focus on their studies.

He has a superhero-like ability to make a positive impact on students—regularly checking in with those who have difficult days, sometimes walking with them to calm down, sitting down to have lunch with them or creating art with them. He follows up with teachers about student behaviors he notices. He supports students’ social and emotional health and wellness every day.

He’s a leader in the cafeteria with guidance to students to follow rules, clean up, behave and keep the noise down. He has inspired students to take pride in the school grounds and they volunteer to pick up trash they find on the field during recess. Many students return to the school to earn Student Service Learning hours beautifying the school exterior with Smith.

Smith is very artistic. To raise school spirit, he designed what has become the favorite logo for the Mill Creek Towne Dragons—a dragon tail. On Fridays at school, you will find much of the staff wearing his design.

His exemplary work ethic, kindness and dedication are invaluable and irreplaceable to the team at Mill Creek Towne.

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Robin McCue is administrative secretary III in the Department of Athletics.

McCue is the heart and soul of the department. Her love for her job is evident in her interactions with athletic directors, coordinators, principals, coaches, parents and students. She is compassionate, goes above and beyond and pays incredible attention to details. One athletic director commented that she “often knows what is needed before we do.”

She is also the athletics program’s number one fan; she can often be found supporting MCPS teams at various events across the state. She has been called a mentor to others and is always working to improve efficiency, communication and productivity. She takes the time to greet and build a relationship with nearly everyone she comes into contact with, and her personality is infectious in cultivating a positive work environment.

Dedicated and organized, McCue has tremendous knowledge of processes and procedures and a strong commitment to the quality of the student-athlete experience. This knowledge played a pivotal role in creating systems to ensure the safety and well-being of students at athletic events after returning to in-person learning from the pandemic.

She was instrumental in administering the Student-Athlete Leadership Council, made up of two representatives from each MCPS high school.

In addition to her work with MCPS, for more than 20 years, she has served as director of administrative operations for state wrestling and basketball tournaments. In this role, she has planned and implemented the events.

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Chaula Butterworth is a paraeducator at Farmland Elementary School.

Dependable and warm, Butterworth has developed strong relationships with students; she knows their areas of strength and who needs additional support. She is often asked to cover classes and is always prepared to teach any subject to any grade level. One of her notable strengths is her flexibility; she embraces new challenges with enthusiasm and is quick to adjust her strategies to meet students’ evolving needs.

With an unwavering commitment to students, Butterworth takes great care and joy in supporting them, working to increase their English proficiency, and understanding that each student must be met where they are academically and learn at their own pace. She goes above and beyond to advocate for students who may struggle to express their feelings or lack the words to effectively express themselves.

Highly organized and calm under pressure, she serves as a role model for new paraeducators, was instrumental in the onboarding of three paras in the past year, and produced a comprehensive manual to help others in assembling their own resources. She has also helped develop and manage the schedule for the paraeducators at Farmland, working closely with the Home School Model teachers to ensure that special ed students receive necessary supports. She helps plan the schedule for lunch and recess staffing, taking the health and welfare of lunch and recess aides into consideration (not being exposed for too long to heat or freezing temperatures or to the loud noise in the cafeteria). The small things she does add up to have a huge impact.

Along with other honorees, the Supporting Services Employee of the Year winner will be announced at the annual Champions for Children celebration on May 1.