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Pride of Peoria

Three Peoria Unified employees were awarded top honors in Support Services, Teaching and Administration during the 34th Annual Pride of Peoria Employee Recognition Celebration, presented by Lifetouch, on May 6 at the Arizona Broadway Theatre.


Centennial High School Secretary Kathy Fitzgerald, Raymond S. Kellis High School teacher Michael Wakeford, and Director of Arts Education Robert Panzer, were awarded the 2019 Raymond S. Kellis Leadership Awards – the highest honor a Peoria Unified School District employee can receive. These three honorees were surprised with their award during the event.


The Pride of Peoria award is presented to the top one percent of district staff. This year, 38 Peoria Unified employees from across the district were publicly honored as Pride of Peoria award recipients for their contributions to their schools and the district. Teachers and support staff are nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service and come from different sites, represent different career lengths and work in a variety of positions, yet share one common attribute: They were selected because letters written on their behalf revealed countless examples of how their dedication to the Peoria Unified School District consistently went above and beyond.


Three Rookie of the Year awards were also presented. These go to three employees who are in their first or second year in their current position. The award went to one support staff; one teacher and one administrator. The Rookies are: From the Career and Technical Department, Kendra Hutchinson, Jefferson Leavitt, Centennial High School ELA teacher; Melissa Duguid; Oasis Elementary Principal.


A full list of Pride of Peoria winners can be found on our website and the Prize Patrol video can be viewed on our YouTube Channel.