School-Related EOY Named Finalist

District’s School-Related Employee of the Year Named Finalist for State Competition
Posted on 06/07/2021

Hernan Avila, the School District of Palm Beach County’s School-Related Employee of the Year, has been named a finalist in the statewide competition.

Avila, or "Coach H" as he is known by everyone on campus, was nominated for the District award by the entire team at Wellington Community High School. Formerly a Behavior Intervention Associate, he was recently promoted to be an Instructional Technical Support Assistant (ITSA), overseeing the school’s computers and systems.

“The word ‘no’ is not in his vocabulary,” said Assistant Principal Elizabeth Calvente-Torres. “Avila can be seen stepping in to de-escalate student issues, providing support whenever needed, and creating a rapport with faculty and students alike.”

“Coach H has a sixth sense when it comes to what a student needs to hear,” said Julia Saye, a School Counselor. “He finds innovative ways to meet them where they are.”

According to the Florida Department of Education, the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year program “recognizes outstanding educational support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems.”

Avila is one of five finalists from across the state this year. He is not the District’s first School-Related Employee of the Year to be selected as a state finalist, as three District employees have previously received the honor:

• 2020: Ivey Colligan – Administrative Assistant at Orchard View Elementary School.
2017: Jane Winters – Afterschool Director at Beacon Cove Intermediate School.
2013: Jennifer Seidenstucker – Treasurer II at Eagles Landing Middle School.

Avila will receive a cash prize for his nomination. The winner will be announced by the state later this summer.