By Lorraine Glowczak
Two local employees, Kevin Bailey, Windham Parks and Recreation Maintenance Foreman, and Catherine Giuffre-Renaud, Adult Basic Education Coordinator for Windham/Raymond Adult Education, recently received award and recognition for a job well done. Giuffre-Renaud received a fellowship from The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and Bailey is the recipient of the 2021 Maine Recreation and Park Association Outstanding Parks Professional of the year.
“Kevin diligently attends to his tasks independently each day and takes great personal pride in the parks and trails facilities that he oversees,” said Windham Parks and Recreation Director Linda Brooks. “Recruiting seasonal help has been a challenge for the last two summers, so Kevin just picks up the slack and gets the job done. His winter duties include managing two ice skating rinks, plowing parking lots to keep our parks open and accessible, and grooming trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.”
Brooks also said that Bailey, who is a life-long Windham resident, is motivated to provide stellar service to the community. “Kevin is always thinking about ways to improve what we offer,” she said. “He is the face of the department in our parks and on our trails, and is friendly and caring, while also seeking ways to encourage people to be good stewards of our facilities.”
Bailey, nominated by Brooks with the support of other parks and recreation employees, received his award virtually in mid-March in the Windham Town Council Chambers with his co-workers as well as with wife, Melissa, and their two daughters, who were all there to congratulate him.
“I was quite surprised to have been nominated,” said Bailey, who has held his position for 13 years. “In fact, I’m honored. I just come to work and do my job the best I can. The people who I work with make my job easier and I enjoy working with everyone. In fact, of all the jobs I have had, this is the best and most rewarding one.”
“Catherine has always been a fierce advocate for her students,” said Windham/Raymond Adult Education Director, Tom Nash. “She has actively participated in many of the Maine Adult Education Association Student Days at our Maine State House Hall of Flags events. She realizes not only the importance of exposing her students to the workings of state government, but also the power of encouraging them to find their own voice to speak up - and speak out – for funding to help them reach their very personal educational goals.”
Nash said that what has always impressed him about Giuffre-Renaud is her willingness to find methods to improve her own practice, seek out learning opportunities to enhance the quality of education she can provide her students, as well as her fervent desire to train others in adult education best practice. “She is clearly devoted to adult learners and lifelong learning, serving as a bright example for others.”
Giuffre-Renaud explained what she will be doing during this fellowship award program. “I will receive trainings on how to request and hold meetings with legislators to discuss the needs of adult education and how adult education is a key to the recovery of our communities post-COVID-19,” she said. “I will also learn how to write effective pieces that will be published in the media. Adding to that fellowship opportunity is the know-how to organize and influence others in Maine to work to promote adult education.”
Nash said that Giuffre-Renaud is the epitome of a life-long learner and is passionate about lifting up the adult learners with whom she has been entrusted. “I am proud of her dedication to her students and her willingness to support them through advocating for them when they aren’t able to do so. COABE’s advocacy fellowship and experience will not only bring Cathy joy, but will have a lasting impact on her students, our communities, and even our state and nation.”
Just as it is true that any successful business is a direct result of the outstanding efforts of its employees, it is also true that those successes filter down to the communities they serve, providing outstanding benefits for all involved.<