FELLSMERE — Students, faculty and staff surprised Fellsmere Elementary School secretary Mrs. Daisy Rios Wednesday morning as they announced her as a top five finalist for the 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year, school officials said.
“What an honor to be chosen as one of the state finalists for employee of the year.” Rios said in a statement. “This was completely unexpected and a wonderful surprise. I am extremely proud to represent Fellsmere Elementary, the surrounding community, and all our amazing teachers and staff in Indian River County. I am thankful for being recognized among such an amazing group of educators and employees.”
Students and staff surprised Rios with cheers, excitement and flowers Wednesday on the hard court at the school, 50 N. Cypress Street, officials said. Rios and four others were picked out of 71 district-level candidates throughout Florida.
The surprise comes a week after school officials announced Dr. Nicole Mosblech, a science teacher at Vero Beach High School, was named as a top five finalist for state teacher of the year.
In January, Rios was chosen as District School-Related Employee of the Year, school officials said. Rios then moved forward with applying for the state recognition.
Rios had to complete a state packet. The packet included two letters of recommendation, a nomination letter from the superintendent, continuing education or training courses and commendations, officials said.
Rios’ supervisors also submitted rating forms and supporting documents in support of the secretary.
“Today was nothing short of epic for Daisy Rios, our school, and our community. We are extremely proud to have Mrs. Rios represent our school and district as a state finalist for School-Related Employee of the Year,” Principal Ramon Echeverria said. “She is a great example of positivity, authenticity, and the importance of human connection for everyone that enters our school.”
Rios and the other finalists will travel to Tampa next week to attend the state board of education meeting at Mort Elementary School, officials said. The 2019 Department of Education School-Related Employee of the Year will be named at the May 22 meeting.
Photos provided by School District of Indian River County