ESS Awards 2024 Substitute Teachers of the Year with Annual Impact Award

ESS Awards 2024 Substitute Teachers of the Year with Annual Impact Award

Four substitute teachers received a $1000 cash prize and an additional $500 to donate to their school of choice.

CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 15, 2024 ESS, a national talent and management solution, has selected and awarded four substitute teachers as winners for their 9th Annual Impact Awards! The 2023 honorees were each recognized at their school districts, receiving a $1000 cash prize and an additional $500 to donate to their school of choice.

The Impact Award was created in 2014 to honor outstanding substitute teachers. These individuals exceed the expectations of their role by supporting K-12 students. Each year, over a thousand nominations are submitted by school district staff. Since ESS created the award, they have awarded $42,000 to the winners and schools.

The Impact Award was created in 2014 to honor outstanding substitute teachers, these individuals exceed the expectations of their role by supporting K-12 students. Each year over thousand nominations are submitted by school district staff.

This year, ESS selected four individuals who impacted the schools they served every day. With a positive attitude, they performed above and beyond their assigned duties to create engaging learning environments and foster a positive educational experience. They step in as educators, often at a moment's notice, to provide support, instruction, and guidance to students in the absence of their regular teachers.

This year's recipients include Gayle Hughes of the Marquette Area Public Schools in Marquette Michigan; Annie Gadson of the School District of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Brianna Haddad of the Frisco Independent School District in Frisco, Texas; Lisa Prince of Iredell-Statesville School District in Statesville, North Carolina; Julimarie Thomas of the Medford School District in Medford, Oregon.

Gayle has been a substitute with ESS since 2022. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 100 absences. She primarily serves Graveraet Elementary School in Marquette Area Public Schools in Michigan. Kristen Peterson, Graveraet Elementary School Principal, said: "Our school is so fortunate to have Gayle Hughes as a substitute teacher. Gayle is not only an amazing educator but also a wonderful person and human being. Gayle is willing to help out anywhere from the classroom to the lunchroom to the playground! She can teach and work with students of any grade level or ability. In addition, Gayle is a mentor and coach for so many of our teachers. She has a deep knowledge of teaching and learning and also an understanding of the social and emotional needs of students. Furthermore, Gayle volunteers her time at our evening family nights and has been known to take work home or stay after hours to prepare materials! Our school, teachers, and students are blessed because Gayle is our roving substitute teacher and she is so deserving of this award and recognition!"

Since joining ESS in 2022, Annie has filled over 300 absences. She primarily serves Paul Robeson High School in the School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Ms. Hopkins, a History Teacher at Paul Robeson High School, said: "Ms. Gadson is a wealth of knowledge. She has been in the district for several years and although she has retired, she is still ready, willing, and able to go and do what needs to be done! She genuinely cares for the students and the staff. The students adore her and respect her. She has gained the universal name of "Grandma" of the building. She takes her time with the students and works with them on a level that goes above and beyond a regular guest teacher. She adds warmth and depth to the classroom and the entire school."

Brianna has been a substitute with ESS since 2021. Since joining ESS, she has filled over 200 absences. She primarily serves Purefoy Elementary School in Frisco ISD in Texas. Brianna received an astounding 26 nominations for the Impact Award! Amy Parra, Resource Teacher at Purefoy Elementary School, said: "Brie is a valuable human being with a heart for children. She demonstrates love, support, determination, enthusiasm, and joy when she is in the school subbing for gen education or in the resource special education classes. She displays a happy and confident educator who is upbeat and delighted to be in each class. Brie has a non-judgmental attitude that drives her ability to create an atmosphere of accepting all students. She works with energy that is easily felt among the classrooms and students. Brie is adaptable to change and the rearrangement of schedules. She is overall a go-getter person who strives to help, support, motivate, and inspire the students she is working with, as well as the colleagues by her side. Brie goes above and beyond in all she does. She is a valuable asset to Purefoy Elementary."

Since joining ESS in 2021, Lisa has filled over 500 absences. She primarily serves Lake Norman High School in the Iredell-Statesville School District. Bill Shapcott, Principal of Lake Norman High School, said: "As a long-term substitute teacher at our school, Mrs. Lisa Prince has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication, professionalism, and a profound commitment to her students' success.

Mrs. Prince's approach to teaching goes far beyond the ordinary. She possesses a unique ability to engage students across a spectrum of abilities, from those struggling with low grades to high achievers. Her high expectations and unwavering motivation create an environment where all students feel valued and challenged.

In her current role teaching biology and in her previous assignment in the computers and business classroom last year, Mrs. Prince has proven to be thoroughly prepared daily. She collaborates seamlessly with the professional learning community team members, ensuring her students receive the best possible lessons and instruction.

What truly sets Mrs. Prince apart is her commitment to understanding each student's individual needs. She identifies the root causes behind academic challenges, swiftly adjusts her teaching methods, and provides additional support when necessary. Mrs. Prince's proactive and adaptive approach has resulted in students meeting expectations and excelling in their academic endeavors.

Beyond the classroom, Mrs. Prince actively participates in school events, attends sporting events, and supports her students in extracurricular activities. This genuine interest in the well-being of her students contributes to the strong relationships she builds quickly, making her a respected figure in our school community.

Mrs. Prince's impact extends beyond the academic realm; former students consistently express their gratitude by visiting her during Open House events or the school day, sharing fond memories of their time in her class.

In conclusion, Mrs. Lisa Prince exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher. Her dedication, passion, and ability to connect with students make her an ideal candidate for the 2023/2024 Impact Award. I wholeheartedly recommend her for this well-deserved recognition."

Julimarie has been a substitute with ESS since 2023. Since joining ESS, she has filled nearly 100 absences. She primarily serves Innovation Academy in Medford School District in Oregon. Morgan Davidson, Office Manager at Innovation Academy, said: "Julimarie Thomas is our favorite ESS substitute teacher! She is an inspiration, motivator, and force. She has a great passion for teaching and you cannot help but be in awe of the profound and kind heart this woman has. She is reliable, kind, and has a way of helping others find strength and pride in themselves that they may not realize they have had. I see the way she works with our students and how she challenges them to be successful and grow. She helps students learn by meeting them where they are at. We are so grateful each time she agrees to take a sub job with us. She goes above and beyond each time she shows up and lights up a room. We hope you consider her for this award because she makes an impact on us, staff and students alike."

Additional information can be found at

About ESS:

Established in 2000, ESS is a leading national provider of managed solutions in PreK-12 education. It recruits, hires, trains, places, and manages qualified substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other support staff for school districts throughout the United States. Each day, the organization fills more than 28,000 daily, long-term, and permanent school assignments for more than 900 district partners serving over 5 million students. For more information, call (877) 983-2244 or visit