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Pepper, Oaks honored at School Board meeting
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Josh Oaks receives the classified employee of the year award from Director of Schools Grant Swallows.
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Diane Pepper receives the certified employee of the year award from Director of Schools Grant Swallows.

Diane Pepper and Josh Oaks were recognized at Tuesday night’s School Board meeting as the certified and classified employees of the year for the Warren County School System.

Pepper was nominated for the award by VIP@Home director Dr. Courtney Bennett.

“Ms. Diane Pepper has been an employee of Warren County Schools for the last 22 years and has worked in the VIP program for the last five years. During this time she has become an integral part of the alternate education program. Ms. Pepper worked with our students with behavioral challenges and who are most at-risk educationally,” Dr. Bennett said in her letter of nomination. “She has a natural ability to talk to our students and build a solid working relationship as she frequently injects humor and empathy into her teaching. Ms. Pepper focuses on helping all of our students establish a plan of study once they have arrived on campus at VIP by which they can begin to chip away at obtaining the course credits needed to graduate with a regular high school diploma. It’s through her ability to communicate effectively that Ms. Pepper is able to instill within our students the desire to complete their program of study and prepare them for the post-secondary world.”

Valerie Tidwell recommended Josh Oaks for classified employee of the year.

“I would like to nominate Josh Oaks for employee of the year,” said Tidwell in her nomination. “As a Read 180 teacher, my students and I rely heavily on technology to utilize the program with fidelity. Josh is quick to arrive and problem-solve when things don’t work as they should,” 

Tidwell’s letter of nomination continued, “I truly appreciate his quiet demeanor when he’s trying to fix an issue while I’m working with students. His willingness to help, friendly disposition, and considerable tech knowledge make him an asset to the Warren County School District.”

Pepper and Oaks’ certificates of recognition were presented by Director of Schools Grant Swallows before the September meeting of the Board of Education.