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Idaho Enterprise

Three Oneida County Educators named Employees of the Month

May 26, 2021 10:58AM ● By Justin Adams

At the monthly meeting of the Oneida School Board on May 18, the “Employees of the Month” for both April and May were honored.

Ms. Sarah McIntyre, Principal of Malad Elementary School, wrote the following letter in support of long-time employee Sandra Colton:

“Sandra is a wonderful and dedicated employee and a valuable asset to the staff at Malad Elementary School.

“Sandra is in our building every night as a cleaner. She always has a kind word and smile. She is very dependable. Sandra is willing to take on any task asked of her and do it to the best of her ability and with a positive attitude. She ensures that our school is clean and properly supplied to help provide the best possible experiences for our students.

“Sandra is a credit to the Oneida School District. She exemplifies what an outstanding employee is.”

Mr. Robert Hannah, Principal of Malad Middle School, read the following letter in support of Luke Waldron, Malad Middle School social studies teacher:

“Luke is a veteran teacher in our school district who loves what he does. He is passionate about history and loves teaching the students. He wants them to understand how important history is to their future.

“His presence at Malad Middle School sets a positive example for all of us.  He genuinely enjoys being there and has the kind of relationship with students and staff that makes the student learning experience enjoyable.

“I can count on Luke to help me with anything that I ask. He always brings a good attitude and a willingness to help Malad Middle School be the best that it can be.”

Dr. Rich Moore, who serves as the administrator for Stone Elementary School, read his letter to recognize long-time bus driver and paraprofessional Erma Hill:

“Erma Hill is a legend. She has been an employee for the District for about 45 years. I’d like to be more precise, but our records are not clear—but we are sure it was during the mid or late 70s when she was first hired as a bus driver. She said back then we had real winters – lots of snow. She said there were times when she had students posted at windows on the bus so they could tell her if she was staying on the road. One particularly bad snowstorm, she made the scary run to get to the school on the other side of the mountain only be told that school was closed. So she turned around and made the trip back in the horrible snowstorm.

“In the early 80s, Erma started being a classroom paraprofessional. She taught with many different teachers. She has taught in every classroom at Stone . . . even on the stage. For the past many years, she has taught kindergarten. She states that she has loved every class she has taught – they all have been wonderful. She has seen lots of broken legs and arms, but they have all seemed to be none the worse for wear. She said as she looks back, she does not have any bad memories. She has loved every minute of the service she has given.

“In the past five years that I have worked with Erma, I have learned a few things about her. She knows the history of Stone better than anyone. She can tell you about every family that has lived and is living in the Holbrook/Stone area. I have not heard her speak poorly of anyone. She does not gossip. She shows deep compassion toward all. I have never heard her complain. At the first of the year when they were told they had to wear masks all day long at school, her response was, ‘Well, my ancestors were asked to leave their homes and walk 2000 miles and live in a desert, so I guess I can’t complain about having to wear a mask.’

“Erma has made a difference in the lives of many children. She has given them a strong foundation of self-confidence and academic learning. All that know Erma have nothing but good to say about her. She has been made immortal in this life because of the positive impact she has made in the lives of the Stone Elementary School students.”

The “Employees of the Month” received gift cards, copies of the “Starfish” poem, and plaques that will hang in the School District Office for the next month. Sandra Colton, Luke Waldron, and Erma Hill are all ending their careers with Oneida School District at the conclusion of this school year.