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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Staff Member Honored for Going the Extra Mile


Global Leader Award winner, staff member and avid school booster Mary Turner with her award.

By Robin Gee

People who work behind the scenes in offices and departments that support our schools often can be unsung heroes, taking care of the day-to-day business and quietly making sure administrators’, teachers’ and students’ needs are met.

At the November meeting, Fort Thomas school board members made sure to recognize and honor a staff member for her support and service she gives to her colleagues.

Mary Turner handles payroll and benefits for the school’s employees. The board honored her for the care she takes to ensure everyone has all the information and support they need to ensure their families receive the benefits provided for them by the district.


Superintendent Karen Cheser explained. "Mary does all our payroll and benefits, and sometimes she has to do things that are not quite as fun, such as tracking down people to get their insurance done. We heard from Whitney McKay, a counselor at Johnson, who contacted us to make sure we knew to say thank you to Mary for her persistence in making sure we enroll successfully for our health insurance claims."

In her nomination letter, McKay said "I carry my children on my health insurance, and in addition to this I have to have very expensive medication covered by insurance that is incredibly important my family."

She said she could not afford the medication without the insurance. She thought she’d registered properly and even printed out a receipt but came to find out that she had not. Turner reached out to her and said she’d make sure the family was enrolled.

McKay said Turner followed up and saved the family headaches and potential financial hardship. "She checked and I was so glad she did."

Cheser added that at some other institutions an office person might just send out a notice or email, but otherwise leave the respondents on their own. If things aren’t filled out or done right, that leaves the employee to suffer the consequences.


"But not with Mary. She makes sure that every single person has the information, and she will hound you until you get it done – and we appreciate that! Actually, there are a million reasons we should be thanking Mary and for this we want especially to say 'thank you.'"

Cheser also noted that Turner is a leader in planning social events at the office and for advocating for school spirit. She is quite adamant about supporting Highlands teams, and, in fact, if you are not wearing blue on Friday football game days, she will insist you wear "the sash of shame" no matter who you are at the school. Board members agreed Turner deserves kudos for her Bluebird pride.


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