Each year, two Wooster City School District employees are recognized as recipients of the Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones FoundationOutstanding Teacher and Staff Member Award. This year, Jeff Bielek, a custodian at Melrose Elementary, is the recipient of the Outstanding Staff Member Award, and high school mathematics teacher and volleyball coach Jennifer Snowbarger, is the winner of the Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Award.
Bielek has been with the district for 19 years, where he has held many different positions. Serving currently as a custodian for Melrose Elementary, he sees his job as an opportunity to provide a clean and safe learning environment for students. Bielek is a highly respected member of the Melrose Elementary staff, where his colleagues all agree he is always willing to help, does an exceptional job anticipating building needs and is more than willing to take on behind-the-scene roles.
His dedication to preserving the environment has transferred into his work as well as inspired students. He puts in extra time to implement recycling and conscious living initiatives in the school. His work ethic and positive attitude transform his position and impact everyone around him.
“It is staff members like Jeff that drive this award and why we are excited to have extended it to staff members as well as teachers,” said Matt Long, attorney and grandson of Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones. “We are thrilled to recognize his dedication and how it has made the schools a better place.”
As the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award, Snowbarger serves the Wooster district as more than a math teacher. She currently coaches the varsity volleyball team and in the past she has worked both statewide and locally to develop curriculum, has served as the Math Counts Coach and was advisor to the junior class at Wooster High School. It is clear in all that she does, that Snowbarger puts the students first. Snowbarger never settles for “good enough” and strives to always be a better teacher and coach for her students and teams. She brings a positively cheerful attitude to each day and is known to encourage those around her.
Each year, the Ralph R. and Grace B. Jones Foundation fund is awarded to those who exceptionally serve students and the community while demonstrating respect for their students, peers and members of the community. Recipients of the award are gifted an unrestricted $5,000 cash stipend.
“Jeff and Jennifer have certainly made Wooster schools a better place,” said Dr. Tefs “They are both amazing assets and we are all so very proud of them.”