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McConnaughay spotlights everyday hero, Debra Brannon, Kane County Educational Service Personnel Award recipient

This week, Senator McConnaughay spotlights Debra “Debbie” Brannon, Administrative Assistant to the Athletic Director at St. Charles North High School and winner of the 2017 Kane County Educational Service Personnel Award, presented by the Kane County Regional Office of Education.

Brannon was nominated in the educational service personnel category by the staff and parent community at St. Charles North High School, where she has worked for 17 years. Her strong organizational and prioritization skills, along with passion for working with students, earned her praise as a top administrator.

Brannon started as a receptionist at St. Charles North in 2000, when the school only taught freshmen and sophomore students. After the school expanded to a four-year school in 2002, she assumed the role of faculty secretary for all learning areas, a position she filled for almost 14 years, before moving to her current role in the athletic office three years ago.

There are as many as 11 sports happening in any one season. Brannon is responsible for scheduling games, practices, venues and referees, as well as canceling events and alerting all students, families and employees involved. She also manages the payments for contract employees and third party-vendors, and ensures that students maintain their grades and school records.

“They’re student athletes, and being a student comes first,” said Brannon. “I run reports to ensure all athletes are meeting the school’s standards as a student. If one is in jeopardy, we help them get tutoring or assistance to get back on track.”

For 17 years, Brannon has taken pride in volunteering at the sporting events either supervising football or handling the scoreboard or clock for basketball, volleyball, water polo and softball. She looks forward to any opportunity to spotlight students’ athletic achievements, whether it’s arranging the trophy cases or commending them in the hallway.

“Because I work those games, I can put names to the faces,” said Brannon. “I place them at the forefront and try to make them feel more special. That’s what school athletics are about—making students feel special.”

Brannon was humbled and shocked when she received the news of her nomination, and even more so when she was announced as a winner. She says she credits her long-term career success at the school to the passionate and respectful teachers and students. She is a notable face around the halls, and on any given day, can be seen chatting with students or helping to set up games and practices.

“Our students are very polite—I’m treated with respect, and I treat them with respect,” said Brannon. “I have never woken up and said ‘I don’t want to go to school.’ It’s my home away from home.”  

The Kane County Regional Office of Education hosted their 42nd Annual Educator of the Year award ceremony on April 28 by honoring 45 outstanding educators nominated as academic leaders by their peers. The award was presented to one educator for nine separate categories: classroom preschool teacher; classroom elementary teacher; classroom middle school teacher; classroom high school teacher; school administrator; student support personnel; early career educator; private/parochial; educational service personnel; and one overall top educator of the year.

“St. Charles North is made up of some of the most wonderful staff, and I am so pleased to see so many honored by the Kane County Regional Office of Education,” said McConnaughay. “From what Debbie’s peers and students have said of her commitment to the school, I am so proud to have her working with our students. Her dedication is not limited to office hours, she continues to support the children at their athletic events and highlight their achievements whenever possible.”

Senator McConnaughay is proud to recognize Brannon for her Educational Service Personnel award and thank her for her ongoing dedication to St. Charles North High School.

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