MHS Staffer Named MPS 22-23 Support Employee of the Year

Connie Stefanick posed with Support Employee of the Year certificate

Mustang Public Schools Names Three as Support Staff of the Year

(Mustang, Oklahoma – April 22, 2023) – Mustang Public Schools has named three employees as Support Staff of the Year for 2022-2023.  Connie Stefanick from Mustang High School, Stephanie Dodson from Riverwood Elementary, and Linda Sanderson from Mustang Central Middle School were surprised earlier this month by District officials with the announcement, and were subsequently honored at the MPS Staff Recognition Event held on April 20, 2023.

MPS Support Staff of the Year candidates are nominated by their supervisors/peers for their outstanding work ethic, dedication and skill.  Once nominations are received, a committee reviews applications and selects the winners.  

What the nominators said about these outstanding employees:

Connie Stefanick

Connie is one of the best admin assistants we have ever had.  She is on top of everything.  She is a rock star!  Our school would not be the same without her.

Mrs. Connie has taken on the responsibility of the front office window for the entire high school. Her steadfastness and head on approach made the transition seamless for all. Mrs. Connie is kind, gracious, and effective...she is a friendly face to all and handles each situation with humor and grace.

She takes care of parents, students, and teachers all while maintaining a high quality of work helping out her two assistant principals. She really is the rock that holds the main office together.


Stephanie Dodson

Stephanie is deserving of this award for numerous reasons: Without her, I would literally not be able to do my job! She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to step in and help in any way she can! Our students LOVE visiting with her in the library, too. She is a true asset to Riverwood and we are so lucky to have her!!

Stephanie is always willing to go above and beyond in any area needed within the school. She greets the students with a smile each day.  She's a true gift to work with.

Stephanie is such a bright spot here at Riverwood! She is always so happy and brings so much warmth to the library. She is willing to step up and help where needed and is always finding ways to encourage the staff to celebrate each other. I could not imagine Riverwood without her!

She is amazing at her job! She works so hard, always has a positive attitude, and makes learning fun for the kids! She is always going above and beyond!


Linda Sanderson

Linda started with us at MCMS working in the cafeteria [but was later hired into the In-School Intervention position]. [Since that time,] she has shown a determination and commitment to helping students. She not only helps to reinforce procedures and expectations in ISI, she is a great advocate for students. She doesn't allow them to settle for doing nothing. We often have students that regularly struggle asking to go work with "Ms. Linda." She helps with supervision, working as a 1-1 when needed, helps with detention and does crosswalk duty in the morning. She is dependable and consistent.

Linda is our ISI supervisor at MCMS as well as the crossing guard for Riverwood Elementary in the mornings. When we say our mission is to ensure high levels of learning for all at MCMS, Linda plays an integral part in that mission.

First, I’ll start with our district’s number one core value, relationships. Mrs. Sanderson, or as she is affectionately and respectfully referred to as “Grandma Linda” by most students, not only builds relationships with some of our most at risk students but she does it in such a way that it is the perfect balance of grace, support, advocacy and accountability. She is able to get even the most reluctant students to reflect on their actions and then follow through with getting assignments completed. When students are assigned to her for a consequence of some sort, she lets them know very quickly that her classroom is business. She sets the expectations and holds students to them. At the same time, she earns their trust and respect by being willing to advocate for them with teachers. She makes sure every student has what they need to be successful while they are in her charge. She lets teachers know when students are struggling and asks for them to either stop by and assist or at least give her some tips on how she can help them. She will always lets me know when a student is struggling with math because she knows that is an area I can help (and she knows it makes me happy to do math with kids!), proving to students that even though they are in trouble, WE as a team of teachers and principals still care and want them to have success.

We have a saying in the office, 'If you want to win, put Linda in!' [If a student is missing work,] by the end of the day, it is rare that a student has not completed most if not all of [it]. When they finish an assignment, she communicates with teachers letting them know, again, showing students that she will advocate for them if they are willing to put in the work.

Linda runs all of our grade checks and missing work reports for every student each week to support our teachers for academic check-ins during advisory. She not only runs the reports but she pays attention and notices when specific students are failing classes or their missing work list is getting longer instead of shorter. Once a student has been in ISI with Mrs. Sanderson, she keeps tabs on them.... It is not uncommon to see her pulling a student aside during a passing period to give them a quick pep talk if she knows their grades are falling or their missing work list is growing. She SEES them!

Students will regularly stop by to see Linda, just to say hi and let her know they are keeping up with their work and/or behaving themselves. If they make a choice that winds up getting them into trouble, I believe they truly are more upset that they might have disappointed her than they are about being in trouble. Students will also come to the office if they are feeling overwhelmed or know they are falling behind and ask to go work with her for the day. They know they can be successful with her support.

I honestly cannot say enough about how much impact Linda Sanderson makes on the students of MCMS and Riverwood. We are so incredibly blessed to have her at MCMS and in Mustang Public Schools!

Linda is an essential part of our staff who is able to make connections with some of our most at risk students. She is always willing to step in and help where needed on days that she does not have students assigned to her class. She doesn't just support administrative discipline efforts, but rather, supports academic success for students who truly struggle to find the motivation/will to complete work that they are more than capable of doing. She supports all of our school systems and functions, from running missing work reports for every student each week and distributing them by advisory group to manning the ticket table for sporting events after school, and keeping the crosswalk safe on even the coldest mornings for students headed to MCMS or Riverwood.


About Mustang Public Schools

The Mustang Public School District covers over 72 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,500 certified and support employees. As one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.
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