Southside Center associate among county's top support professionals

bernice harrington okaloosa school

Bernice Harrington, second runner-up for the Okaloosa County School District's Education Support Professional of the Year, is pictured with Okaloosa Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson, Southside Center Administrator Debra Haan and Assistant Superintendent of Schools Nick Kootsouradis.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:50 AM.

A Crestview Exceptional Student Education classroom assistant has been named second runner-up for the Okaloosa County School District's Education Support Professional of the Year. 

Bernice Harrington, who has been at Southside Center four years, assists the teacher in instructional, behavioral, medical, academic and any other needs of the students.

“It is very rare that you will find an individual more dedicated or compassionate than Bernice Harrington,” said Debra Haan, Southside Center administrator. “... Bernice constantly seeks new and unique ways to assist Mrs. Rainer with the children in her pre-kindergarten disabilities classroom. She has stepped in multiple times this year (and last) while Mrs. Rainer was experiencing health issues to take over the classroom instruction responsibilities.

"Bernice is able to take Mrs. Rainer’s lesson plans and lead the children through the standards that have been laid out.  She keeps their routines and procedures constant, which is a high need in PreKD.”

Further, Haan said, “Mrs. Harrington has the ability to make anyone smile! It is a gift — one that very few people possess. I have seen her turn the outcome of someone’s day just by her smile and wit.  Even when she is experiencing a difficult situation in her own life, she will bring joy and comfort to others before herself."

The school district's Education Support Professionals will come together on March 14 to be recognized at the Annual Education Support Professional of the Year Breakfast.

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