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Lewis and Clark secretary receives state award

Jeanette Sessions honored as Employee of the Year by OSEA


by: COURTESY OF THE OREGON SCHOOL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION - Jeanette Sessions (right), head secretary at Lewis and Clark Elementary School, reacts to the announcement she is being honored as the Oregon School Employees Association's Employee of the Year May 5. Christopher Hawkins (left), president of the OSEA chapter for the St. Helens School District, worked with Principal Cathy Carson to nominate Sessions for the statewide award.The Oregon School Employees Association selected the head secretary at Lewis and Clark Elementary School as its Employee of the Year this month.

Jeanette Sessions was chosen for the award because she “exemplifies service and dedication,” according to the OSEA.

School staff and friends surprised Sessions with the announcement of the award on May 5 at what she thought was going to be a staff meeting.

“I walked in there and everyone was there, and I was completely surprised. I was speechless, actually,” Sessions said. “It was so cool.”

Lewis and Clark Elementary Principal Cathy Carson nominated Sessions for the award, in collaboration with Christopher Hawkins, the OSEA chapter president for the St. Helens School District, Sessions said.

In her letter nominating Sessions, Carson wrote that Sessions is known as “the face of our school.”

“Generations of families have been helped across her counter as she addresses a wide array of situations and needs by students, parents, staff and various community members,” Carson wrote.

Being a secretary at an elementary school has been a lifelong dream for Sessions.

“I had an elementary school secretary when I was a little girl that I wanted to be like, because she was so kind,” Sessions said, adding, “This truly was a job that I always wanted. I’ve felt very honored to be able to come to work every day to do a job that I enjoy.”

OSEA President Tim Stoelb also hailed Sessions in a Tuesday, May 27, news release from the union, which represents some 20,000 school employees across the state.

“Her years of selfless service and dedication to her school and community made her nomination stand out from all of the rest,” Stoelb said of Sessions.

Sessions has been with the St. Helens School District since 1990. She said she plans to stay there until she retires.