LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Clarice Steeley

Position: Office Manager
School: Madison Alternative Center
School District: Norfolk Public Schools
City, State: Norfolk, VA

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Clarice Steeley was nominated by her principal, Leesa Mundell.

The scope of Mrs. Steeley’s accomplishments are profound. She is the office manager at Madison School, an alternative school setting which serves students who, for various reasons, have been removed from their home schools and are provided with the opportunity to return to good standing and earn the right to return to their home schools.

Mrs. Steeley began her service in Norfolk Public Schools (NPS) in 1994, and immediately chose to work in an alternative school setting. When she was asked why she desired to work in an alternative setting, which offers many more challenges than a regular school , she smiled and replied, "I want to be a mentor and a positive role model for our children."

The many staff members she cares for and the students she loves will joyfully attest to the fact that she has achieved her goal. Mrs. Steeley is appreciated for her insight into the needs of the staff and her timely solutions to their problems. She also makes herself readily available to any student or parents who may need her.

Mrs. Steeley’s customer service qualities are evident through her interactions with the students and parents. She even maintains her Notary Public Certification in case a parent may need it. She also attends all monthly office manager meetings for NPS, as well as conferences to learn new ideas to share with the staff.

Mrs. Steeley is the quintessential professional. She has devoted a great deal of her professional life to perfecting her craft as a successful office manager. She knows how to do practically everything, as well as who to contact if a student, parent, or staff member needs additional assistance. Mrs. Steeley expertly cultivates an atmosphere in her well-run office that radiates efficiency, stability, and harmony. She carefully cradles, within her professional demeanor of strength and determination, a joyful persona that transforms any negative disposition of a student, parent, or staff member she may encounter during the school day into a positive interaction.

Mrs. Steeley recently earned the Certified Educational Office Professional distinction recognition from the Norfolk Association of Educational Office Professionals (NAEOP), and she was honored by the School Board with its prestigious School Board Award.

In addition, the following was recently conferred upon her because of her herculean efforts to strengthen her professional organization and assist all office personnel:

“On behalf of the Association of Educational Office Professionals of Norfolk (AEOPN) Executive Board and members, we want to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for your contributions towards making the Virginia Association of Educational Office Professionals (VAEOP) Fall Conference a huge success. AEOPN and VAEOP are deeply grateful for your support, talents, and generosity.”

Mrs. Steeley served as the President of the AEOPN for two years, and she created and sustained a strong, caring, forward-looking organization committed to helping its members return to their home schools enriched with knowledge from professional workshops and interactions with colleagues. The organization inspires members to share their power and determination with children, parents, NPS, and the community.

Mrs. Steeley directed the organization in its commitment to fill 200 Christmas Stockings for the Salvation Army. Additionally, she organized Therapy Thursdays for members to meet and share information and concerns, and presented awards to members who excelled. She also organized courses of study for all interested members, as well as scholarships for students who were pursuing a career in the business field.

"Grace is defined as beauty or charm of form, composition, or expression and thoughtfulness toward others. This elegant word and all of its connotations define and epitomize our Clarice Steeley," Mundell said. "The full measure of an individual is not to be found in the person herself; instead, it is found in the colors and textures that come alive in the children, the teachers, the parents, and the community stakeholders with whom she interacts."

"Mrs. Steeley’s professional palette reflects colorful brilliance and depth. Her educational toolbox is crammed full of insight, conviction, determination, purpose, and compassion. She is always evolving, and we, on a daily basis, greatly benefit from her illumination: We are better than we ever would have been without her. Therefore, we respectfully request that she be considered for the LifeChanger of the Year Award," Mundell concluded.

Comments (8)

Lucy Zaleski Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Steeley, CEOE (Certified Educational Office Professional), is a wonderful office manager and colleague to all with whom she interacts. She is very skilled in running a well-organized office and in working with students, parents, colleagues, and community members. With a smile on her face and joy in her heart, she immediately stops what she is doing to assist where she is needed. In addition, she is well-versed in finding solutions to any concerns that are presented to her. Furthermore, Mrs. Steeley has strengthened and sustained AEOPN, (Association of Educational Office Professionals). I spent my weekend putting children's Christmas stockings together for the Salvation Army because she spearheads this act of kindness and care for our children. Mrs. Steeley merits recognition for her may efforts and acts of kindness; thus, I respectfully request that you honor her with a greatly deserved LifeChanger of the Year Award.

Ken Pietsch Posted over a year ago

Madison was my 1st teaching assignment. On my first day, as I entered the main office. I observed a small framed women in deep conversation with a a student who was listening intently. The woman gave a stern look that turned into her signature engaging smile. Message received by the student she then turned to me extended her hand and said, "and you must be Mr.Pietsch. I am Mrs. Steeley, welcome to Madison. Lets get you set up and settled in. It has been like that over these past seven years. Anything I need to help our students succeed, Mrs.Steeley never fails to do everything she can to make sure all of our student have whatever it takes to exact a positive change in either their academics or their behavior. Her devotion is obvious to anyone who observes her in action. Mrs. Steeley understands that sometimes the best way to make sure our students improve both their outlook and accomplishments is to make sure that the faculty, administration and staff are able to devote 100% of their time and effort to our students' needs. She is also very active in communicating her devotion and concern in the welfare of our students to those who is in the best position to see to each students needs. Mrs. Steeley is responsible for life changing efforts not only for at risk students but also for many of the people involved in the challenge of taking students who have been removed from more traditional learning environments and re-inventing their approach to education so they can rejoin the mainstream education system. Without Mrs. Steeley's daily involvement in these efforts fewer students would be able to go forward to achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

Dr. Sandra Fortner Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Steeley is a ray of sunshine. Her warm heart reaches out to young lives and makes positive change occur. You would think that an Office Manager would solely focus on the responsibilities associated with the duties assigned to her. Not only does this Norfolk Public School Inspirational Award winner excel at her job, she excels with mentoring at-risk youth and serves as a great role model. Whether it is students who come to the office or she sees in the hallway, she communicates and forms relationships with students, which in turn makes them more receptive to what she has to say. When students make wrong choices like yelling or saying something inappropriate, she discusses this with them and talks about how choices impact their future. She also tells the correct choices to be made and the positive difference their lives will have as a result. I have heard this first hand. She encourages students to make good choices. This person has positively affected the lives of the unit at our school. She is a life changer!

Lorna Bolden Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! You deserve to be recognized for do a fantastic job.

Tim Haynes Posted over a year ago

Congratulation Mrs. Steeley, You are a wonderful person with a Great Heart. You control that office like it's your home. You are dependable, competent and a great leader. I wish you all the success and happiness in this world, Mr. Haynes

Nancy Beaghley,RN Posted over a year ago

Ms Steeley has been a continued foundation and resource for us. From the moment I met her the depth of her insight to our needs and to those of our students was most evident in presentation, demeanor, and communication. She is a shining star in our days and reflects joy, knowledge and stability in all she does.

Cynthia Lynch Posted over a year ago

CONGRATULATIONS Clarice Steeley!! You are truly a great ambassador and role model for Norfolk Public Schools, the Association of Educational Office Professionals of Norfolk (AEOPN) and Virginia Association of Educational Office Professionals (VAEOP). Keep up the awesome work.

Karisma Milton Posted over a year ago

Congratulations! This is much needed opportunity for recognition of all the wonderful work you do.