Penny Kozak - Classified Employee of the Year

CPS Classified Employee of the Year
Posted on 06/11/2020
Congratulations to Clinton Public Schools' Classified Employee of the Year, Penny Kozak.

Penny was the longtime Library Assistant at Pierson Elementary School, having been hired in 2013.  Recently she transferred to Eliot Middle School where she is literally the "glue" that keeps the library and the entire school together.  Here are a few words from her nomination letter:

Penny was instrumental in moving the Pierson Library to Eliot and Joel. Not only did she pack, sort and clean the outgoing books, she went to their new home clean, organized and unpacked them again. She did so even though it went above and beyond her assigned duties. Three years ago, Penny started up the Pierson Yearbook Club. She alone with 5 to 10 students have created a yearbook for our school ever since. She does so on her own time with no compensation. She has continued this at Eliot and again does not get anything in return. As my assistant she is invaluable. With a full teaching loads and other duties, Laura Pierandi and I can let library maintenance play second fiddle but not Penny. She, in many ways, is the real librarian. Penny is amazing with our students, too. She knows every child in the school’s name (just come watch her at book check out if you don’t believe me) and treats each with respect and compassion. She is patient when she helps them to successfully complete their assignments. She is always early and stays late. Most recently she has taken to managing the Chromebooks and loaner Chromebooks. She fixes minor issues (all self-taught) and puts in all the help tech tickets for the countless students. I believe that Corey Albert would agree that she has made his job easier too.  I can’t think of a more deserving employee to win this award.
Traditionally we would have honored Penny at our annual Staff Reception however COVID-19 had other plans for us this year.   We will look to give her a proper tribute when we are all allowed to be together again.  But for now, please join me in recognizing Penny Kozak as our 2020 Classified Employee of the Year.   
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