Conley Named 2020-21 ESU #1 Employee of the Year
On Jan. 22, 2021, Educational Service Unit #1 Administrator Bill Heimann and Special Education Director Stuart Clark presented Arianne Conley with the 2020-21 ESU #1 Employee of the Year award during a virtual all-staff meeting.
Arianne, a resident of Sioux City, Iowa, has been employed at ESU #1 since 2008. She is a school nurse who has worked with schools throughout the six-county ESU #1 service area. She goes about her work like many of the past recipients, humbly and expertly without any need for recognition, just a deep desire to help others and make things better. Throughout the last 10 months of COVID-19, she has been consistent, essential, professional, passionate and understanding — qualities that exemplify what the Employee of the Year award is all about.
In a year that was completely insane, Arianne stepped up and filled an indispensable role. She worked tirelessly to learn, respond, support and care when the pandemic hit. Arianne provided a calm and steady voice. There was so much new information and it seemed to change on a daily basis. Arianne researched and reached out to sift through everything and distill it into guidance for our staff and schools. She continued to stay on top of the changes and effectively communicated those in a way that didn’t add to people’s frustration or confusion.
The public health department was tested in a way it has never been before. Arianne volunteered her time to collaborate with them. That selfless act strengthened relationships which continue to benefit ESU #1 staff and districts, as well as the entire region. COVID-19 questions came up at all times and were often repeated. Arianne regularly took calls in the evenings and on weekends. She often shared information multiple times.
Despite the long hours or the need to say some of the same things over and over, she never came off as frustrated or annoyed. Instead she asked great questions and listened. Her approach put others at ease and helped them through difficult and stressful periods.
When someone tested positive for the coronavirus it was scary. Arianne showed great compassion and concern when talking to staff. She would check in with people periodically and even offer to drop off groceries or supplies if someone was unable to get help another way.
In our time of greatest need, Arianne proved to be an exceptional employee. She deserves to be honored for the incredible impact she has had because we can’t imagine how things would have gone without her. ESU #1 is happy to award this year’s Employee of the Year to Arianne Conley.
The ESU #1 Employee of the Year award is in honor of Georgia McQuistan, a former ESU #1 employee who passed away in 1987.