Longtime P-H-M employee Rita Szweda got the surprise of her 19-year career when P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker surprised her with the news that she had been named P-H-M’s Classified Employee of the Year!
Last Friday, May 1, Rita was on a video call with Horizon Principal Tressa Decker and Assistant Principal Amy Fadorsen when Dr. Thacker and other P-H-M administrators popped in on the call to surprise Rita with the news. Watch the video below …
Rita Szweda is the Secretary/Treasurer at Horizon Elementary School, a role she’s held for nine years. Rita began working at P-H-M when she was hired as a Teacher’s Aide at Horizon in 2001. She reflects back on her time as a TA and remembers fondly helping to instruct students; at one point, she even knew every student at Horizon by name! Rita continued to serve Horizon’s students, families, teachers and building staff when she became a full time Office Aide at Horizon in 2007.
Rita loves P-H-M and bleeds black and gold as a Kingsmen. When the position of Freshman Cheerleading Coach at Penn High School came open in 2004, Rita was a perfect fit for the job! In 2010, she became the Varsity Cheerleading Coach. She enjoys not only training the female student-athletes, but also getting them involved in a number of service opportunities/projects in the community. “Representing Penn High school in a positive way with these athletes has been so rewarding,” said Rita. “I feel I have been able to install confidence and friendship in the teenagers that I have worked with over the years and brought a cheerful heart to many students and staff members that have crossed my path.”
Rita is praised by Horizon’s Leadership Team, Mrs. Decker and Fadorsen, as being a dedicated and diligent employee who always has a smile to share. “Rita never stops working, whether it is as our Treasurer (the busiest treasurer in P-H-M) or as our building Secretary or as the Varsity Cheer Coach at Penn,” remarked Principal Decker. “She eats, breathes, and sleeps Penn-Harris-Madison Excellence!”