The 2014 Excellence in Public Service Award winners were announced today in separate surprise announcements at their respective jobs. The winners are:
- Claire Overstake, a science teacher with the Wichita Public Schools
- Adrienne Byrne-Lutz, the Health Protection Division Director, with Sedgwick County
- Shirley Rogers, a Division Supervisor, with City of Wichita Public Works & Utilities.
This year marks the 27th year of the Excellence in Public Service Award, which aims to recognize public employees who go beyond the call of duty. Honorees are selected from thousands of eligible workers from the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County and the Wichita Public Schools. They share a strong work ethic, exceptional performance and a commitment to community. The DeVore Family will award each recipient a $2,500 check at a reception in May at The Cowtown Visitors Center, 1865 W. Museum Blvd. Following is more information about the 2014 honorees:
Overstake is a 25-year veteran in education. She has taught science at Stucky Middle School for three years. She is a member of the Model Classroom Program Team, which works to support first-year teachers. Overstreet was honored with the 2010 National Presidential Award
for Excellence in Math and Science teaching, the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). An active volunteer, Overstake organizes the Discovering Paleontology camps at the Museum of World Treasures. She is a judge for the Kansas State Science Fair and was a member of the State Science fair board. She is a singer in the ARISE Ensemble (African Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble) and a gospel singer at her church. She assisted with the development of a PowerPoint presentation, “Gordon Parks: Images from the Soul,” which was one of the highlights of the Gordon Parks Celebration at the Gordon Parks Museum, in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Byrne-Lutz has worked to integrate Animal Control into the Health Department, spearheaded a beautification initiative for the Health Department building on East Ninth, and worked to create a History of Public Health display in the entry of the Health Department. She has been a leader in the Wichita-Sedgwick County Oral Health Coalition, using her insight and experience to plan the annual “Give Kids a Smile” event. Through her involvement with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Byrne-Lutz was an asset in the response to the April 2012 tornado. Last year, she assisted with CERT’s involvement in water safety for the River Festival and security for the Flight Festival. She also volunteered at Convoy of Hope last year, sharing information with hundreds of people and she’s trained for the Circle project, which partners volunteers and community leaders with families wanting to make the journey out of poverty.
Rogers has been a City employee for more than 23 years in the Departments of Community Health, Finance, Planning and Public Works & Utilities. She consistently exhibits a personal standard of excellence in daily work. Shirley has been able to successfully utilize her past experiences to maximize outcomes for the Department. She has been a career-long volunteer, coaching youth teams and supporting school activities such as band, drama, and field trips. She has volunteered for many civic and non-profit organizations including the Lord’s Diner, Sedgwick County Zoo, Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Wichita Federal Credit Union, and public works’ fund-raising events.