Bev Payne Wins National Recognition from U.S. Department of Education

Woo Hoo! Bev Payne Recognized by U.S. Department of Education!

OAPSE Local 416 Leader and North Central District Executive Board Member Bev Payne has been selected as one of four finalists for the RISE Award – the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees national award established by the U.S. Department of Education to “shine a light on the staff who have been designed to have such impact within the school walls. These staff are often not highlighted nor recognized nearly enough.”

The top award went to a paraprofessional from Nevada who works with the Native American and Alaskan natives. Bev and two others finished as runners up! She was named one of two finalists for the award in December.

“We know how amazing Bev is and what an incredible contribution she makes to Crestline Schools every day. It’s so deserving that she has been selected from nominees across the country. We are very proud of Bev and so glad she has been recognized for her dedication to students and families in Crestline,” said OAPSE State President Lois Carson.

Bev joined Crestline Village Local Schools nearly 39 years ago and is THE go-to person in the school district to find answers, assistance and direction.

A leader in OAPSE, Bev was nominated by President Carson. She is North Central District treasurer, has served the members of Local 416 in many roles, and is often the person union members rely on for expertise and information.

Bev received letters of recommendation from the district superintendent, her elementary principal and Crestline’s mayor. In addition, many village leaders offered testimonials on Bev’s work in the community.

She began her career substituting as an aide and a bus driver. She followed that with time as a study hall monitor and an in-school suspension aide. But, for most of her nearly four decades in service to Crestline children and families, she has worked as a secretary. Currently, Bev works as an elementary school secretary, where she also is responsible for the preschool and the transportation secretarial duties.

Bev really is the “center of the wheel” in her school and district. “Mama Payne” is the one her co-workers come to for help, advice and direction. She assists parents who call with questions about bus routes, teachers, schedules and everything related to Crestline Schools. And her experience with all facets of the school system – including relationships built over a lifetime of living and working in Crestline – makes her an exceptional team member who administrators rely on to make the district the best it can be.

When Bev sees a need or a challenge, she takes charge and meets it. Her no-nonsense approach to problem solving earned her the title of “Sergeant Payne” in Crestline, where she helps lead the annual Harvest Festival and where she serves as an elected member of Village Council. Bev partners with community leaders of all political persuasions to make life better for families in the village she has called home all her life. She doesn’t believe in complaining. She believes in taking action toward improvement. And she unites people to get the job done!

Bev is beloved in Crestline because she is a kind, compassionate, tireless giver of her time, energy and love to students, families and neighbors. She is simply the best.

Way to go, Bev!