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Staff Recognition & Retention

Using the Words of Others to Recognize Staff

The parent, student and staff attitude surveys conducted each year by Fort McMurray Public Schools produce hundreds of positive comments about teachers, education assistants, principals and other staff. Most of these comments come from students in grades 4 - 12 who are invited to think of a teacher who made a difference in their school career. What made this teacher special?

Superintendent Kath Rhyason ensures that these comments don’t go unread or unheard. After Kath reviews them, she sorts them by individual staff member. She writes to each person whose name is mentioned, lets them know what was said, and thanks them for what they do for students, their schools and the district. Copies of these letters are placed in the staff members’ permanent personnel files.

Some employees keep these comments in their own files. Others post the Superintendent’s letter in their classroom or add it to their professional portfolio. Some e-mail the Superintendent to express their appreciation that these positive comments are shared with them.


During his Staff Recognition & Retention seminars, Nelson Scott emphasizes the value of genuine, timely, specific, personalized and relevant recognition in making the organization more successful, increasing commitment, improving morale and reducing turnover.


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A professional trainer, speaker, and consultant since 1995, Nelson Scott works with organizations that are committed to making the right hiring decisions, developing and retaining productive staff, and strengthening relationships with customers.  Learn more by visiting or e-mailing


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