Unsung Heroes and Heroines

photo of our 2019 five unsung heros

from left to right: Mark Rugaber, Doug Moore, Elen Gunn, Anne Whalen, and Linda Klee

Unsung Heroes and Heroines are men and women who go above and beyond their job description on a daily basis. Each year, these individuals are nominated by their peers, the highest of compliments. On Wednesday, August 28, 2019, at Victor’s Staff Conference Day, five extraordinary men and women from five different departments were named this year’s Unsung Heroes and Heroines. 

Mark Rugaber 
Transportation Department
Employed since November 15, 2010
Mark Rugaber received the praises of numerous coworkers for going above and beyond in his role as not only a bus driver, but the department’s Union president. Rugaber has been driving school bus for VCS for 10 years. His nominators said he is a dedicated employee with an impeccable safety record. Since becoming Union president in 2017, Rugaber has spent countless hours in meetings and negotiations, researching, and simply getting members the very best contracts. Union members say he keeps their best interests at the forefront at all times and conducts himself with great respect and dignity.

Doug Moore
Facilities and Grounds

Employed since June 14, 1999
Doug Moore has been helping to make the VCS campus look beautiful for twenty years. From maintaining multiple athletic fields to servicing miles of sidewalks, roads and parking lots, Doug’s attention to detail can be found on just about every inch of campus. One nominator said Doug is not only a great employee, but an amazing teacher and a great mentor to VCS graduates who work on campus grounds during the summertime. Whatever the season or reason, nominators agree that whenever they need to contact him, Doug is quick to reply in a courteous and professional manner. 

Ellen Gunn 
Teacher Aide
Employed since September 2, 2003

Dedicated, compassionate, loyal, selfless, caring, nurturing, and comical, too. These are just a few of the words nominators used to describe teacher aide, Ellen Gunn. Throughout her 16 year career at VCS, Ellen has not only worked in various special education programs, but was selected to help start up the 8:1:1 program at the Primary School six years ago because of her steadfast character, flexibility and ability to work with children with various disabilities. One nominator said Ellen exemplifies what it means to put the student first and can be counted on to develop genuine relationships that students and staff recognize and embrace. She is very patient, loving and generous to children, but she is tough, too. Her students love her. Co-workers love her too! 

Anne Whalen
Food Services 
Employed since September 8, 1992

Early Childhood School cafeteria manager, Anne Whalen, is known by her peers for always going above and beyond with a smile during some of the most important times in a student’s day, breakfast and lunch! This past year, Anne brought a whole new crew with her to the VECS cafeteria, and the results couldn’t have been better. Coworkers praised Anne for always putting students first. One nominator said Anne makes lunchtime very enjoyable for both students and staff and her willingness to go above and beyond definitely sets her apart. Field trip lunches are also a breeze thanks to Anne’s creative planning and coordination. Whatever the meal or moment, Anne always manages to find a solution to any sticky situation.

Linda Klee
Employed since September 17, 2012

More than a dozen employees took the time to nominate Linda Klee for this year’s clerical award. 
Although her official title is Clerical Support to School Counselors and Psychologists, Linda’s warm demeanor, energetic spirit and ability to problem solve, make her so much more. One of her nominators said that at times Linda is a pseudo-counselor, handing out tissues and lending an empathetic ear to small children asking to see a counselor. Linda also schedules hundreds of meetings, laminates teacher projects, types up class lists, organizes placement materials, and sends out a multitude of letters to parents and staff. Supporters say, whatever she is doing, Linda does it all with a smile and a contagious laugh.