(Ridgely, MD – May 16, 2023) – Benedictine celebrated the winner and all the nominees of the distinguished Sister Jeannette award during a luncheon earlier this spring. The award was established in 2012 by the Benedictine Board of Directors in honor of Sister Jeannette, who served as Benedictine’s leader for over 30 years. The annual award recognizes an employee who exemplifies Benedictine’s values of Hospitality, Dignity of Work and Compassionate Caring.
This year’s award was given to Sharon Walbert, Adult Services House Counselor. Among the long list of accolades, it was noted that she works tirelessly to provide the adults she supports with opportunities to increase their skills, to be involved in the community, to stay connected with their families, and to be as independent as possible. Sharon works at several of Benedictine’s 18 adult group homes and she willingly fills in for night shifts when needed.
Scott Evans, Benedictine Executive Director, commented at the award luncheon, “This is truly one of my favorite things to do at Benedictine as it provides an opportunity to stop and reflect on the incredible work that is being done here every day. We celebrate those that go above and beyond in making a difference in the lives of the students and adults living with developmental disabilities and autism. I applaud all the nominees!”
The nominees included Galan Anderson, School Vocational Liaison and Team Leader; Steve Ebell, School Education Assistant; Karen Gibson, Payroll Coordinator; Jody Mitchell, School Teacher; Danielle Poore, School Teacher; Corina Schline, School Nurse; and Marie Truitt, Adults Services House Counselor. All the nominees were presented with a framed image of Sister Jeannette’s “Rules To Live By” which includes, “respect the dignity of those you help by giving in quiet and hidden ways.”
Benedictine is a non-sectarian nonprofit organization supporting close to 200 children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism achieve their greatest potential and highest level of independence. Benedictine’s year-round educational program is one of only 26 nationwide to earn a two-year accreditation from the National Commission for Accreditation of Special Education Services (NCASES). This program includes home-like living and learning options on the Ridgely, Maryland campus, for children ages 5 to 21 who come from Maryland and surrounding states. Benedictine’s Adult Services program offers employment and vocational services for transitional youth and adults, ages 22 to 70+, in the community and those who live in Benedictine’s group homes in Caroline, Talbot, and Anne Arundel Counties. Benedictine’s Easton Community Services & Training Center prepares the adults it serves to enter the workforce and collaborates with the collaborates with the Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Caroline and Dorchester County public schools to provide services to their students through the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) Program. Benedictine is one of the Eastern Shore’s largest employers with over 350 employees. For more information, visit www.benschool.org.
Photo caption: Sharon Walbert was presented with the Sister Jeannette award at a celebratory luncheon that recognized all the nominees. Pictured (left to right): Scott Evans, Benedictine Executive Director; Sister Mary Agnes, Benedictine Board of Directors; Cecelia Duckworth, Emeritus Board Member; Sharon Walbert, Adult Services House Counselor and Winner of Sister Jeannette Award; Charley Mills, Benedictine Board of Trustees President.
Janine M Lis
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