Miss Rita, Finalist in 2018 Fred Award
Frankfort, Ky – The Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) named its finalists for the 2018 Fred Award.
1.Josh Penn (Custodian, Franklin County Schools)
2.Rita Renfrow (Classroom Assistant, Butler County Schools)
3.Bryan Tackett (School Resource Officer, Russell Ind. Schools)
The Fred Award is a favorite for KASA members, drawing in nominations from school districts across the commonwealth each year. The award, inspired by Fred Shea, the postman who became the subject of Mark Sanborn’s national best seller, The Fred Factor, recognizes non-administrative staff, students, and volunteers statewide whose daily efforts are deemed extraordinary and integral to a positive learning atmosphere in their school communities.
“We are proud to honor these finalists and introduce them to the world. Mr. Penn, Ms. Renfrow and Mr. Tackett are the best of humanity,” said Dr. Rhonda Caldwell, KASA Deputy Director. “Freds are change agents and this award brings them center stage and honors the work they do and the lives they live each day.”
Finalists are selected by a blue-ribbon judging panel representing education leaders from school districts across the state. A film crew visited each finalist’s district to capture the spirit of his or her service. Footage from these visits will be presented during the final award presentation July 27, 2018 at KASA’s Annual Leadership Institute & Expo in Louisville. Each finalist will receive a $250 check, overnight lodging at the Galt House Hotel, and a distinguished marble plaque detailing the award. The winner will receive a $500 check.
KASA is the largest school administrator group in Kentucky, representing more than 3,100 education leaders from across the commonwealth. Formed in 1969, KASA connects education leaders to policymakers, legislators, and other interest groups and provides numerous benefits and services to Kentucky’s school administrators.
Ms. Rita, as she is called by the students at North Butler Elementary, is known for her kind smile, infectious enthusiasm, and true love for kids. Described by her nominator as “one of a kind,” Ms. Rita approaches each day with pure joy and is always ready to lend a hand, offer love, and show support to students. She has a heart that seems to see into the soul of a child who is lost, hurting, or afraid. She uplifts the spirit and morale of every room she enters. When children see her coming down the hall, they get excited because they know she will take the time to greet them by name, give them a hug, and find out how their day is going.
Rita is a cheerleader for kids, celebrating all their achievements, whether big or small. After getting to know each child, she looks for creative ways to help them learn. Her work has been a valuable part of the school’s success in improving kindergarten readiness scores. She doesn’t just put in time teaching, she puts her heart and soul into her instruction. Whatever the task, Rita is ready to give 110%. At recess time, you will most likely see Ms. Rita hanging with the kids, swinging, sliding, and playing basketball. Even when it looked as though there would not be funding to renew her position, she asked if she could still work with the children as a volunteer. With or without pay, Ms. Rita is determined to do whatever it takes for the children and staff at North Butler Elementary School.