- Fulton County Schools
FCS Announces School/Admin Professionals of the Year
The Fulton County School District is pleased to announce the winners of the School Professional and Central Office Support Professional of the Year for 2020: Ms. Renisha Smith of Mountain Park Elementary School and Ms. Daffany Reed of the FCS Talent Divsion.
Renisha Smith, School Professional of the Year
As Mountain Park Elementary School's Curriculum Support Teacher, Renisha Smith is known as a leader and collaboration builder. She functions in many roles, from facilitating grade-level Professional Learning Communities, to coaching paraprofessionals on best practices, to providing creative strategies for teachers to grow professionally. "Ms. Smith is a servant leader," says Mountain Park Principal Stacey Perlman. "She works tirelessly to involve teachers in working together to solve problems."
Renisha began her career in Fulton 14 years ago as an Instructional Paraprofessional at Esther Jackson Elementary School and became certified in Elementary Education, TAG and Special Education. She has worked in remedial support with Special Ed and ESOL students, written curriculum units for grade levels, provided resources for parents to support their children’s learning and was voted Teacher of the Year for 2009-2010. Always the team player, Renisha loves to share victories with her peers. "I learned that if I was doing something well in my classroom," she said, "it was imperative to share it with my colleagues to ensure that we were meeting the needs of all our students for the greater good." As the Special Education Department Chair, she served as a New Teacher Mentor and developed a special gift for taking good care of new teachers, a skill she is known for at Mountain Park.
In addition to being Mountain Park's CST, Renisha serves as the school's GO TIP Induction Advisor (helping transition new teachers), a Professional Learning Facilitator, a Design Team member (solving problems strategically and with empathy) and School Governance Parliamentarian. If that's not enough, on the district level she also leads a team of 30 Teacher Selectors to process data for teacher candidates in the Talent Division. Liz Young, Talent Coordinator, says that under her leadership, the Central Selection Team has become a well-oiled machine, and has successfully screened over 23,000 applications. "This team is run so well," Young says, "that we have a saying: 'Call 9-1-1. Then call Renisha.'"
Renisha's professionalism is the watermark of her reputation. Colleagues in all areas of her work life attest to her aptitude for leadership and valuable support, how she is effective at a high level as well as behind the scenes.
"Because of the many leadership opportunities I have been afforded in Fulton County," she says, "it has been so important for me to pay it forward. I work very hard to maintain a trusting and supportive rapport among colleagues, parents, and students."
Daffany Reed, Central Office Support Professional of the Year
Daffany Reed is the Fulton County School' Central Office Support Professional of the Year for 2020. A Professional Assistant III, she provides award winning administrative support to the Chief Talent Officer and Executive Director, Talent Operations/Staffing.
"During my tenure, I have worked with a number of extraordinary people who have exemplified the desired work ethic of this district," said Chief Talent Officer Ronnie Wade. "Daffany Reed is without question one of those people. She consistently has stood ready to do what's needed to help her teammates and the mission of the Talent Division, and our district. She deserves the Professional of the Year honor."
Reed was in the first graduating class for the Office Management/Financial Management Certification program and was Employee of the Year for the Talent Division for 2017-2019. She has been an Employee of the Year Nominee for the Central Office Support Professional from 2017-2019. As co-chair of the Fulton CARES Wellness Initiative Steering Committee, she helped enable thousands of FCS employees to learn more about health and wellness.
A 2019 graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a Master of Public Administration, Reed is an avid believer in knowledge. "What excites me about FCS is we have an outstanding Professional Learning department that affords employees an opportunity to develop and learn continually," she said. "The program utilizes some of the top learning institutes and instructors at no direct cost to the employee. Utilizing my newly learned skills, I find new and improved avenues for redefining the work."