Three staff members have been added to The Mansfield ISD Heartbeat Team. Heartbeat Team members are nominated by other district employees for displaying heart in their lives and inspiring other colleagues through their actions.
The spring 2018 Heartbeat Award recipients are Shawn Alsup, teacher and coach at Danny Jones Middle School; Kim Simmons, librarian at Asa Low Intermediate School; and Vysal Sokha, head custodian at Mary Jo Sheppard Elementary School.
Each recipient was presented the award by Superintendent Dr. Jim Vaszauskas at a surprise presentation on campus. Dr. Vaszauskas told the winners that the Heartbeat Award is second only to getting a building named after them.
“The Heartbeat Award means that they are the heartbeat of the school,” said Dr. Vaszauskas. “Without the heart, you can’t survive. It’s what keeps everything going, and that’s the reason these recipients were chosen by their peers.”
Alsup was nominated for his ability to do his job with passion and no complaints. He was also integral in saving the life of a student-athlete who collapsed during practice in January. The educator said his love for students is what keeps him going.
“When you see a former athlete or student, and they say, ‘Hey coach! Remember that thing you told me years ago? I still remember that.’ That’s why I do what I do,” he said.
Simmons was chosen to receive the award because her coworkers said she goes out of her way to teach all students that reading is fun.
“I’ve always loved reading, and when I see kids struggle with reading or not love reading, it’s a goal of mine to find something that they like to read,” said the librarian.
Sokha is known for going above and beyond his custodial duties. He was nominated for the Heartbeat Award because he takes pride in keeping his campus clean and functional, and he makes it a point to establish positive relationships with the students.
“I like to tell myself that if I do something, I’ll do it right and good,” said Sokha. “Some people say that I do extra, but I count it all as my job.”
The Heartbeat Award was established in January 2003. Five Heartbeat Awards were given in the 2017-18 school year.