Pine View School’s Gena Bufkin named 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year for Sarasota County

All district nominees to be recognized at luncheon next week

Gena Bufkin (third from left) is flanked by Pine View School and district representatives. Photo contributed by the Sarasota County Schools

Gena Bufkin has been named the 2019 School-Related Employee of the Year for Sarasota County, the Sarasota County School District announced on May 2.

Bufkin serves as an administrative assistant to both Elementary Assistant Principal Alison Rini and Middle Assistant Principal Sue Fair, a news release says. She has been on the Pine View School staff for 14 years, the release adds.

“The Florida Department of Education’s School-Related Employee of the Year Program, administered by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, annually recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems,” the release explains. “The program honors one state representative and four finalists from the 67 school districts in Florida. All non-certified, non-instructional educational support personnel who serve at the school or district level — such as teacher aides, library aides, bookkeepers, secretaries and clerks, bus drivers, food service staff and custodians, among others — may be nominated,” the release points out. Nominees may be full or part-time employees, the release continues.

As the award recipient for Sarasota County, Bufkin is eligible for state-level recognition, the release adds. The winner of the state honor will be announced later this spring, the release notes.

“Ms. Bufkin has made a tangible impact at Pine View School,” said Superintendent Todd Bowden in the release. “Known for her professionalism, extensive knowledge and expertise, Gena was resoundingly nominated for this recognition by her colleagues. She directly supports the success of thousands of students every day, and inspires students, teachers and staff members alike to hold themselves to a high standard of excellence,” Bowden added in the release.

“We are thrilled that Ms. Bufkin has received this well-deserved recognition,” said Stephen Covert, principal of Pine View School, in the release. “Her dedication and commitment to the education of our students is evident daily, as is her commitment to supporting parents and families who are new to Pine View at the elementary and middle school levels. She provides a unique, well-established perspective, having been a Pine View parent and serving as a valued team member for over a decade,” he added in the release.

Bufkin and all the school-based winners will be recognized during a luncheon the Sarasota County School District will hold at Michael’s on East on May 8, the release says.