There are moments while observing the trajectory of an individual’s career when an indelible work ethic and tenacity are evident. Dian Shifflet’s career in the Tucker County school system displays those qualities.
Shifflet received two awards, one from the state and one from the county, recognizing her tireless efforts as an indispensable employee.
She currently works as a teacher’s aide in Crystal Hardy’s kindergarten class at Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School.
Shifflet began her work in the school system as a substitute in 2009. In February of 2012, she was hired as a full time custodian. She worked that position at Davis Thomas and then at Tucker Valley.
When a position as a teacher’s aide in the preschool opened up, Shifflet took it. From there, she was hired as a special education aide at Tucker Valley. After two years as an aide, her position was cut.
So many changes and trials would discourage some. Shifflet persevered.
She continued to work as a custodian at the Board of Education office, when one day Dr. Campbell put a note in her box. “The note said, ‘Hey, I need to see you in my office at your convenience,'” Shifflet said. “‘What did I do? What did I do?’ I thought.”
Dr. Campbell arranged the meeting to inform her that he nominated her for service personnel of the year to the state board of education.
After submitting letters of reference and a letter to the state board office, Shifflet awaited the results. She received a notice that she was a finalist for the Tucker County Service Personnel of the Year.
“Well, then I didn’t hear anything else. Until I came home one day and there was a certificate in the mail from the West Virginia Board of Education that said I’d been selected to represent Tucker County for 2018. I was so pleased to represent my county,” Shifflet said.
After receiving recognition from the state, Shifflet was awarded the Service Personnel of the Year Award by Tucker Valley Principal Teresa Brusak.
The multiple awards are well deserved. Shifflet’s work and responsibilities extend far beyond the classroom. In addition to working as a classroom aide, she works as an aide on the bus route before and after school.
Despite the longer hours, her enthusiasm and passion remains elevated. “The student needs an aide on the bus, which has allowed me to form a good relationship with the kid’s mom, and that’s important to me,” Shifflet said. “In the morning and the evening, you get to know the kids on the bus that you don’t have in class, like some of the 5th through 8th grade kids.”
Shifflet previously worked as an aide with Becky and Jason Meyer’s daughter. “She did so well with her,” Becky said. “She helped her so much, which made that school year great for my daughter. Dian would even help kids that she was not assigned to as an aide.”
Her determination to complete her work with pride is evident throughout all her positions in the school system. “I love my kids. I love the looks on their faces. I got to know kids as a custodian, too,” Shifflet said.
“One thing I did especially for the kids when I was a custodian, was decorating the bulletin boards for the seasons.
Family Resource Network Executive Director April Miller worked with Shifflet while she was at the board office. “I’ve known Dian my whole life, but I really got to know her when she worked at the Board of Education. She is pretty amazing at giving extra time. We really miss her up here. She is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met,” Miller said.
Meyers commented, “When Dian was a custodian, she would always go above and beyond. She would help kids, just because she loved kids. She would do everything she had to do for her job and more.”
“I take pride in my work,” Shifflet said. “My father would say, ‘If you’re going to do the job, do it right. No matter what.’ That’s something we live by.”
“She’s an asset to the school system, there’s no doubt about it,” Miller said.
Prior to joining the school system in 2009, Shifflet worked construction for 17 years. After an injury, she looked for another profession. Her sister, Sharon, who was a custodian at Tucker Valley at the time, suggested she apply at the school board.
Shifflet was born and raised in Tucker County. She attended Parsons Grade School and graduated from Parsons High School.