G.A. Family Services held their annual awards ceremony honoring exceptional employees who demonstrate its core values of service to youth. The awards are given from employee to employee, based on staff nominations and votes. The winners have demonstrated the values tied to the namesake of each award.
"We take this day each year to celebrate each other," said Karl Wiggins, vice president for G.A. Family Services at Lutheran. "It's nice to take time to say thank you, nice work and keep it up."
The awards are in honor of people who made a difference in the lives of the youth and staff at G.A. over the years. Holly Newton received the Ernest N. Bastian Award for her ability to listen, and to be non-judgmental and firm yet fair, which all adds to her skills as an excellent child care counselor. DeAnn Shelters, school social worker and Julie Peterson, teacher were given the Harry J. Sands Award for their dedication, advocacy and commitment to student learning both academically and behaviorally.
G.A. staff members were honored by their peers for their high standards and dedication to the youth. Seated, from left, are: Maggie Dreyer, director of community based services; Shauna Erickson, caseworker; Kathy Brunco, music teacher; and Jason Meabon, child care counselor. Standing, from left, are Amy McCloskey, director of education; Julie Peterson, teacher; Todd Hoagland, weekend campus administrator; Karl Wiggins, vice president G.A. Family Services, DeAnn Shelters, social worker; and Holly Newton, senior child care counselor.
The Lion of the North Award was presented to Todd Hoagland, weekend campus administrator for his excellent communication skills, thoroughness, professionalism and his priority on safety for staff and youth. Shauna Erickson, caseworker; Kathy Brunco, teacher and Jason Meabon, child care counselor were honored with the Community Service Team Award specifically for their extensive work with a successful county-wide suicide prevention project.
The Director's Award from Wiggins went to Maggie Dreyer, director of community based services. "Maggie exemplifies the core values of GA Family Services," he said. "Even in the toughest times she goes above and beyond for her foster care youth, families and staff."
The G.A. core values are to help youth reach their full potential, create a positive environment in which they can enjoy success, give them the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, and encourage the development of a strong character through nurturing and positive role modeling.
GAFS is a specialized treatment program for youth and their families who are in need of care.
Treatment includes residential, a learning center, therapeutic foster care, adoption services and community based and preventative services.
For more information log on to gafamiyservices.onet or call 665-2116.