Spirit of Women Awards
This annual awards program, through Mary Washington Healthcare, honors ordinary women who selflessly provide extraordinary service to benefit their communities. We are proud to honor the following women as our 2018 winners:
Spirit of Women School Employee of the Year
Gale Puffenberger, Courthouse Road Elementary School
Gale has been a paraprofessional in Spotsylvania County Schools for 14 years. The last 9 years, she has been in the autism class. Gale is the anchor in class. She knows how to quiet children down with her soft, steady, calming voice even straight from the bus. Gale is the caretaker of all. If it is your birthday, she asks you what your favorite cake is and then she bakes it from scratch. She has been known to search and search for that special recipe. She has baked for birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, luncheons, fund raisers and just because days. She makes a mean and delicious fruit cake.
When there is a need in school, Gale will be the first to offer her help. Most of all, she pushes the children because she knows they can and will grow as learners. She never, ever, ever gives up on them.
Spirit of Women School Nurse of the Year
Amanda Stepp, Thornburg Middle School
Amanda Stepp has developed a great rapport with the students, staff and student families. She genuinely cares about the well being of her school’s students and staff, showing compassion for them on a daily basis. She comes in to work everyday with a positive attitude and a warm smile on her face. She is definitely more than just a school nurse!! She is very nurturing and caring and is a “mom” to all of the students. Her job encompasses much more than temperatures and band-aids. She has a wonderful spirit and has a true sense of caring that goes beyond just the physical care itself.
Spirit of Women Youth of the Year
Rachel Good, Stafford High School
Rachel is a very self-driven young lady who reaches out to all, the students and teachers at SHS and to various members of our community. She is very accepting of all people and knows that she has something to learn from each situation. She creates an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding where ever she is in the school building. This is such a great example of reaching out – to make her daily community a better place. Rachel has a determined attitude, yet a gently spirit that attracts all to feel comfortable around her.
Outside of the classroom, Rachel invests her time in activities that will better herself, help others and provide herself with the chance to touch others. Just one of the activities she has been involved in is as a volunteer at the Moss Free Clinic for the last 5 years, donating at the least 130 hours of her free time to helping others. She is also involved at her church as a Bible camp counselor.