Genoa Middle School EL paraprofessional recipient of Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club Service to Youth Award for December

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Deb Bergmann, an English Learners paraprofessional at Genoa Middle School has been recognized by the Westerville Sunrise Rotary for going above and beyond to serve students.

Bergmann received the Rotary Club’s Service to Youth Award for December. Representatives from Westerville Sunrise Rotary, including Tom Schmitt and Linda Bokros, as well as Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg, Principal Scott Gaddis and staff surprised her on Friday.

Nominations for Bergmann featured glowing praise: She is the biggest champion for every kid at Genoa, especially those who are not native English speakers. She visited homes during the pandemic multiple times. Last year, she paired an academically-struggling student to mentor a student from Ukraine, which made an impact on the student’s academic and social growth. She showed love and support in a complex situation for a student and his mother. She creates materials of her own when they don’t exist.

Bergmann received an award from the club, along with baked treats and a gift card donated by the Walmart Supercenter. In addition, an American flag will be flown in their honor at the Westerville’s Field of Heroes display during Memorial Day weekend. All of the Service to Youth award recipients honored from October to May will be recognized at a Rotary Sunrise breakfast in May.

Rotary Sunrise launched its Service to Youth awards in 2011 to recognize exceptional school employees who have made a special contribution to youth; have served as a positive role model for young people; and have demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty in performing their job responsibilities. The award is named in honor of Sunrise Rotarian Diane Conley, a retired WCSD administrator currently serving as the Westerville mayor.