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HCS Employee of the Year

Chris Carr, Jason Gaston, Rex Ricchetti

November 15, 2018

(HCS) - Three Hoover City Schools employees were honored at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon held on November 15, 2018.

Public Relations Coordinator Jason Gaston was named Hoover City Schools 2018-2019 Employee of the Year.  Finalists Chris Carr (Operations) and Rex Ricchetti (Rocky Ridge Elementary) were also recognized as exemplary employees.

Gaston has served as the district coordinator of public/media relations since 2007.  In this capacity he facilities communication surrounding K12 through advocacy, promotion, education, and information management.  He manages media requests, public records requests, community engagement, websites/website trainings, mass communication, and social media.  His duties also include Institute planning and service on the Finley and HCS District Calendar committees. Gaston has served as the Southeast Vice President for the National School Public Relations Association (D.C., 2015-2018) and is an active member/past president of the Alabama School Public Relations Association.  Currently, he is helping lead a PLU (Professional Learning Unit) centered on school-level communication strategies.  The PLU is designed for HCS employees holding administrative certification.

Finalist Chris Carr has been employed with Hoover City Schools for seven and a half years.  He performs general maintenance in the Operations Department. He can handle anything from detailed painting projects all the way to converting hallways into office spaces. His wife Nichole, and son Colby, are members of the Highlands Church at Woodlawn.  Together, he and Nichole started a homeless ministry four years ago called the “Just People Project” and are excited to see it grow in relationships with those they serve. This ministry helps feed and clothe the homeless, find homes in some instances, and encourages them to attend church to provide spiritual support. Chris has been described “ a person with a great work ethic, giving 110% in everything he does.”

Finalist Rex Ricchetti began his career in Hoover City Schools as a substitute teacher in 2008 and has been serving as a bookkeeper in the district since 2013.  While bookkeeping is second nature to him, he enjoys helping both students and teachers in any area of need. Rex’s principal describes him “ the cornerstone of the school; someone who goes above and beyond to assist those around him.” Rex is known for attending countless school events and assisting families with things such as home repairs, moving, or providing meals. He has battled cancer and always has a smile on his face as he strives to serve others. He and his wife Ginger have three children.

In conjunction with the Hoover City Schools Employee of the Year Program, the November Chamber Luncheon has traditionally been set aside for a keynote address from the Superintendent of Education.  This year was no different. Prior to the Employee of the Year recognition, Hoover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy presented the 100+attendees updates on various school operations ranging from capital outlay projects to a detailed analysis of RC3 - the Riverchase Career Connection Center set to open in August of 2019.

Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy