Hallie Wells Building Service Manager Named Supporting Services Employee of the Year
“Do it like Stevie does.”
This is the unofficial mantra of Hallie Wells Middle School, decided by the leadership team after thinking about all that Stephen Ricketts brings to work every day. Ricketts is the school’s building service manager. But that’s just his job.
A 36-year employee of MCPS, Ricketts greets students at the front door every morning. He’s a problem solver. He pays attention to details. Where others might see a problem, he sees opportunity. He coaches the girls’ basketball team. He mentors other building service managers.
These are a few of the reasons why Ricketts has been named this year’s Supporting Services Employee of the Year.
“Honestly, I believe Mr. Ricketts is, hands down, the best employee in all of MCPS,” Hallie Wells Principal Barbara Woodward wrote in her nomination letter. “His dedication, care and commitment to children is second to none.”
Coworkers say Ricketts is unparalleled in his job, staying until all the rooms are cleaned, the floors are gleaming and the boxes are delivered. But more importantly, he is a leader and a role model. He makes it a point to talk to students. As the girls’ basketball coach, he monitors the students’ grades on a regular basis and encourages them to seek help from teachers when they need it. He is patient, kind, motivational and dispenses wise advice. He teaches students to respect themselves and each other.
When staff, students and parents were surveyed, Ricketts and his team enjoyed a 100 percent satisfaction rate.
“Mr. Ricketts has been, and continues to be, the most influential person in our lives,” states a letter written by several Hallie Wells student-athletes. He “believes that having a strong work ethic and taking pride in your work speaks to a person’s character. … He sees the potential in each and every one of us.”
Ricketts will be among the honorees at the annual Champions for Children celebration on Wednesday, April 18, at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.
This Supporting Services Employee of the Year award is given by SEIU Local 500.