The Hilliard City School District awarded 10 employees Celebrating Excellence Awards for excellence in job performance and going "above and beyond" what was expected in their jobs.

The Hilliard City School District awarded 10 employees Celebrating Excellence Awards for excellence in job performance and going "above and beyond" what was expected in their jobs.

The awards ceremony was held April 19 at Heritage Golf Club in Hilliard.

Superintendent Dale McVey said the awards program "reaffirmed my deep belief about the type of people we have working for us in the Hilliard City School District."

"We have wonderful people in all areas across this district," he said. "We recognized support staff, teachers and administrators and every single one was exceptional in their role to make a difference for students."

The winners of the 2012 Celebrating Excellence Awards were: Mike Abbott, maintenance coordinator; Sharon Balduf, director of the district's preschool program; Mary Ann Best, language arts teacher at Heritage Middle School; Julie Caserta, fifth-grade teacher at Hoffman Trails Elementary School; Tim Hedge, maintenance department; Lori Jewell, handicap assistant aide at Alton Darby Elementary School; Lindsay Kidwell, third-grade teacher at Scioto Darby Elementary School; Dan Reese, math teacher at Davidson High School; Sue Reynolds, secretary at Norwich Elementary School; and Steve Estepp, executive director of K-12 curriculum and development.

The honorees were nominated by their colleagues. District spokeswoman Amanda Morris said the selection committee received 184 nominations.

Abbott has been with the district for the past 12 years and has served as assistant transportation coordinator and a bus mechanic.

"Receiving this recognition feels great," Abbott said. "It's a terrific feeling knowing that so many of the people I work with, people I admire and appreciate for their own work ethic and dedication to this district, also recognize and appreciate me for my efforts."

Balduf is completing her 20th year with Hilliard City Schools.

"I have never been so surprised or so humbled by the award," she said. " My staff is the most loyal and wonderful professionals in the district and it meant so much that they took the time to nominate me."

Best has taught language arts at Heritage Middle School for three years.

"I was humbled and honored to be nominated for this award by my colleagues," she said. "Collaboration with my fellow staff members makes my job very fulfilling, so I look forward to going to work every day."

Caserta has been with the district six years.

"The biggest honor was that I was nominated by a colleague that is at the end of her career and has been doing exceptional things for students over the last 30 years," she said.

Hedge is completing 19 years in the district and has worked in the custodial and maintenance departments.

His maintenance supervisor, Keith Rabley, said, "Tim takes ownership and pride in his buildings."

Jewell has worked in the district six years.

"The element of surprise in the way that the award was presented was really touching and a little emotional," she said. "Every day, I have the opportunity to work with exceptional staff and wonderful children."

Kidwell has been with the district nine years.

"The award was very unexpected," she said. "When Mr. McVey appeared at my classroom door with a balloon, I was shocked. It meant a lot to me and it was very humbling to hear what others think of me as a teacher."

This is the 10th year for Reese in the district.

"The recognition is very humbling because I work with many teachers that are deserving of this award," he said.

Reynolds is completing her 11th year with the district.

"So many of us do what is right for the children and families every day," she said. "I felt privileged to have been honored."

Estepp has been with the district 10 years.

"I work with outstanding professionals, so to be one of the 10 in the district selected was very exciting," he said.