Golden Ram Awards presented
LIMERICK » An elementary school nurse, elementary teacher and a high school principal were the recipients of the the Spring-ford School District’s third annual Golden Ram Awards.
The winners are: Laura McNeil Murphy (Evans Elementary School Nurse); Shawn Riordan (Limerick and Spring City Ram QUEST Teacher) and Patrick Nugent (Spring-ford Area Senior High School Principal).
The winners were announced at the district’s annual convocation on Aug. 22.
The Golden Ram Award identifies and recognizes Spring-Ford staff members’ outstanding performance and commitment to education.
Golden Ram Award recipients demonstrate an attitude of excellence, teamwork and went “above and beyond” the expectations of their job duties.
All staff members who were full-time or parttime employees, with one or more years of service, were eligible to be nominated by a co-worker, supervisor or someone from another department.
The awards committee wrote the following about Riordan:
When you walk into Shawn Riordan’s classroom, you can feel the positive energy flowing. Shawn is a patient, caring individual who gives his undivided attention to all of his students. He starts with a deep understanding of his subject matter and pairs it with knowledge of his students’ needs in order to provide engaging lessons.
It is obvious the students love Ram QUEST. All you need to do is look at their faces when they are entering or leaving his classroom. Always putting the best interest of the child first, Shawn will go out of his way to help a student be successful, whether it is in the classroom, on the playground, or at lunch.
Shawn’s kindness extends to everyone well beyond the classroom. When he is on door duty, students are greeted every morning with a warm ‘Hello! How are you this morning? Have a great day!’
Staff members are affected, as well. Whether on duty, in a meeting, or during one of his technology lessons, Shawn is sure to be respectful of his coworkers time, while incorporating a little fun! Shawn’s work ethic doesn’t quit, he can often be found at school well past the end of the school day as he reviews his lessons.
He takes time to reflect on his work and is always striving to improve. He looks for new and effective strategies and collaborates with regular education teachers in hopes of reaching every student in his class.
Shawn understands that he is a teacher ALL of the time. He models respect and kindness at work, in the community and in his personal life. His students know that he values education, as well as kindness and integrity, because he models these values every single day. Shawn Riordan has a joyful and kind spirit, and we are lucky to have him at Spring-Ford.”
Laura McNeil Murphy
The awards committee wrote the following about Murphy:
Laura McNeil Murphy has no off button. She multi-tasks in her office everyday, happily fielding phone calls from other nurses and parents, taking care of Evans Elementary School students and staff, and working hard as the Health Services Coordinator for the elementary level.
Laura is a Certified School Nurse, as well as a Certified Grief Counselor, and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Education, with a specialty in Safe Schools.
Laura has spent countless hours organizing various school collections and events during her time at Evans. Laura works to support many initiatives like the Evans Walking Club, Evans Wellness Wednesday, the Couch to 5K program, and Sole Sisters, a walk and talk program to promote self-esteem, selfrespect, and resiliency with 4th grade girls.
She also organizes an annual coat drive, blood drive, walk-a-thon, and the district wide weight loss challenge held each year in January.
Outside of school Laura can be found crocheting baby blankets and caps which she donates to the Pottstown Hospital Obstetrics Clinic or to the A Day With Chase foundation. Her blankets are used to comfort the parents of stillborn babies, and her caps have been worn by dozens of preemies as they struggle to stay warm.
Laura does all of this without any fanfare. She quietly goes along with her day and manages to be a great school nurse, mother, wife, and friend. She is very humble and appreciative of all life has to offer.”
Dr. Patrick Nugent
The awards committee wrote the following about Nugent:
As the high school principal, Dr. Nugent serves others with dedication and passion. He has devoted his career to the school district and continues to do so with integrity and loyalty. Dr. Nugent has worked to create an environment of collaboration and teamwork through internal structures and norms within the high school staff. His sense of personal and social responsibility is evident through his consistent approach to his job.
Dr. Nugent has dedicated his entire professional life to Spring-Ford, the high school and community itself. Through his passion, dedication, commitment he has been at the forefront of establishing Spring-Ford Area High School as a nationally ranked and high performing school.
He has been instrumental in the growth of a number of programs at the high school. As a result, the success that our students experience is a positive reflection upon the entire school community.
Dr. Nugent helped re-create Homecoming and enhanced the schools AP offerings to more than 20 in a short period of time. School spirit is at an all time high, as is the schools consistent academic achievement. The time and responsibilities associated with his job have cost him personal sacrifice all which he makes to enhance our school. When challenges arise, or when he see’s an opportunity to enhance Spring-Ford, he does so without hesitation.
When you think of commitment to education, teamwork, going above and beyond it is clear that Dr. Nugent excels in all of those characteristics.”
Shawn Riordan is the Limerick and Spring City Ram QUEST Teacher
Laura McNeil Murphy is the school nurse at Evans Elementary School.
Spring-Ford Area Senior High School Principal Patrick Nugent