• #JobWellDone logo

    With a school corporation of approximately 700 employees, there is no doubt of the many outstanding staff that go above and beyond every day. They are the ones that always smile, the ones that lend a hand without question, the ones that inspire others, the ones you “go-to”, they are the unsung heroes. We will recognize one of these amazing people and the value they bring to School City of Mishawaka each week. We thank all employees for what they do every day, their dedication to the school corporation, their buildings, their colleagues, and especially the students. We say #JobWellDone.

     “We were created for meaningful work, and one of life’s greatest pleasures is the satisfaction of a job well done.”
    John C. Maxwell



Degrees and Certifications:

Heather O'Laughlin

Exceptional Learners Supervisor (LaSalle, Liberty, Twin Branch, JYMS)
Administration Center
April 12, 2023

One of Heather's colleagues shared: "Heather is a powerful thinker, a mastermind of innovation, and an example par excellence of servant leadership. In her work as an Exceptional Learners Supervisor, Heather helps special educators and program assistants implement IEPs to serve children with special needs using best practices and creative ideas. With a caring heart and a mind full of strategies, Heather listens to her staff, identifies needs, and responds with encouragement, solutions, and often a personalized tool she has created just for that student. She equips staff with the knowledge and support needed to work through tough situations and keep students' needs in mind. Heather is a dynamic Supervisor, but she is also much more…she is a caring friend, a relentless advocate, and the embodiment of what it means to hold high expectations while leading with grace - for our children, our staff, and herself."

Heather worked as the preschool site coordinator/special education teacher/private school resource teacher in 2008-2019, then moved into the role of Exceptional Learners Specialist in 2019, and then to her current role in 2020 of Exceptional Learners Supervisor (LaSalle, Liberty, Twin Branch, JYMS).

Another colleague had this to share about Heather: "Whether it’s working with a case conference committee to come up with the best possible solutions or looking for ways to creatively re-arrange the PA schedule in order to maximize student support, Heather O’Laughlin truly puts Mishawaka’s kids first. She is always willing to help out, answer questions you may have or facilitate training for our exceptional learners’ team.  We appreciate you, Heather! Congratulations on a job well done!"

Congratulations Heather on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Desaray Chrisovergis

Office Assistant
Liberty Elementary School
March 22, 2023

One of Desaray's colleagues shared: "Ms. Dez is a hard worker. She always goes above and beyond her call of duty. As a new employee sometimes it can be intimidating, but as soon as I started working with Ms. Dez I knew I was in the right place. She is bubbly, kind-hearted, hard worker, and a go-getter. I appreciate how dedicated she is to Liberty. If she is not deep into doing her job, she is always willing to lend a hand. I really enjoy working with her."

Desaray has worked at Liberty Elementary School for the past three years where she is currently the office assistant. Her grandma ran an in-home daycare and when Desaray was younger and that is what sparked her interest in wanting to work with kids. Desaray stated why she loves her job, "I love my job because I get to interact with all the kids."

Another colleague had this to share about Desary: "Desaray is a pleasure to work with. She is always giving above and beyond what is expected of her. She is very knowledgeable and is able to handle anything that is thrown her way. She is always willing to help wherever she is needed and always excels when it comes to working with elementary age children. Liberty Elementary School is lucky to have Desaray. I can't think of a more deserving person to receive recognition for a job well done. I can only hope we remain working together for many more years to come."

Congratulations Desary on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Lisa Thompson

Food Service Manager & Field Supervisor for Food Service
LaSalle Elementary School
February 22, 2023

One of Lisa's colleagues shared: "Lisa is a staple for the kitchen and cafeteria at LaSalle. She radiates warmth and genuine friendliness to all who pass through. Lisa greets all the students by name and is always positive with each and every one. From opening ketchup packets to prepping the food line, she is an amazing team player. Effective at her job in so many ways, Lisa is a true LaSalle Lion who R.O.A.R.S!"


  • Started as a 3-hour cashier at Mishawaka High School in 2007
  • Moved to head cashier position in April 2011
  • Cashier at LaSalle
  • JYMS as a 7-hour employee (salad bar and cashier)
  • Food Service Manager at Beiger
  • Food Service Manager at LaSalle
  • May 2022 gained additional title of Field Specialist for Food Service...the first big task was running the summer feeding program last summer.

Another colleague had this to share about Lisa: "Lisa Thompson is the type of co-worker you enjoy because she brings both a fresh and "real" perspective to her work each day. In the time I have known Lisa, she has always spoken positively about her position, her coworkers, and serving the students at LaSalle. She is a leader of her cafeteria / kitchen group, and does a great job creating a team atmosphere with her colleagues. Even when sharing frustrations about specific situations, Lisa is great about seeing the big picture and remaining positive about her work. She is passionate about helping people, which is a superb attribute to possess in the school setting. Congratulations to Lisa Thompson as a much deserved, Job Well Done recipient!"


  • Third year working for the Athletic Department selling tickets
  • She loves high school sports
  • She is typically at the main entrance to the Cave selling tickets and trying to watch as much of the game as possible
  • Lisa shared, "The best part of this job is seeing my past LaSalle kids thriving on the court or field."

Congratulations Lisa on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Lee Laird

Administration Center/Services Building
February 8, 2023

One of Lee's colleagues shared: "I have worked with Lee Laird for many years and he deserves recognition for a Job Well Done. He is reliable, always willing to help out if needed, and he does it with a smile-every time! Thanks for all you do Lee."


  • 1997-2000: Night Custodian at Mishawaka High School
  • 2000-2007: Custodian/Grounds at John Young Middle School
  • 2007-Present: Custodian/Storeroom at the Administration Center/Services Building

Another colleague had this to share about Lee: "So when it comes to Lee, you can ask him to do anything and he is happy to comply. Just call his phone and his response is "go ahead, what do you need". You do have to talk fast when it comes time to talk to Lee because he doesn't stay still too long at all. He is always good for a laugh, and he is polite and respectful, always. I consider myself fortunate to work with him and SCM is fortunate to have him as an employee."


  • Grew up in Cheneyville, IL
  • Had a 20 year career in the United States Navy
  • Lee and his family were transferred to the Naval Resource Center in South Bend in 1988...where they made Mishawaka their home
  • Lee and his wife, Cammie, have three children and four grandchildren and all of their children are graduates of Mishawaka High School
  • Lee is a HUGE sports fan and loves Notre Dame

Congratulations Lee on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Cathy Greetis

School Secretary
Hums Elementary School
January 25, 2023

One of Cathy's colleagues shared: "Ode to Cathy! She rocks! I followed in her footsteps as cafeteria aide where I spent time with her in the office as well. We have had so much fun over the years whether it be in the office working side by side, my frequent office visits for trivia day, or just some laughs. She can answer all of my questions, quirky or not.  Actually she can answer anyone's questions. She is the backbone of Hums. Her patience with the students is above and beyond what most people give, even during stressful times. Ask her to do the Lily Tomlin impression of the telephone operator sometime - after years of directing calls and fielding questions she has perfected it! She is a great secretary, lady, confidant, and above all, a great friend not only to myself but to many. I am going to miss her at Hums while she goes off for her next run in life - retirement! Hit the pavement running, Cathy, but please look back at your fun times here at Hums and don't forget us."


  • Started at Hums as a Cafeteria/Recess Aide in December 1999
  • She temporarily worked as the School Secretary at Hums in the 2004-2005 school year
  • Transferred to the permanent School Secretary position in August 2005

Another colleague had this to share about Cathy: "Cathy was the first staff member I encountered when I walked into Hums on my first day and she immediately made me feel at ease. My time with Cathy over the years has been absolutely fun-TRULY. She has LOTS of nicknames (ask her about them) but the favorite title I like to associate with Cathy is that she’s a friend. Cathy is beloved by so many in our building-staff, students, and parents. Her exit from SCM at the end of this school year saddens me but like many, I am excited for her next chapter and the time she will spend with her girls. From pushing cars in the snow, front office laughter, and memorable fire drills, I’m honored to have worked alongside the Front Office Goddess at Hums. Cathy Greetis is a GEM and gets 5 Stars on my Yelp review!"


  • She has been told she is a "DIY guru"
  • She has two daughters
  • Has lived in 6 states
  • Visited almost all of the 50 states
  • She shared, "I hate peanut butter."

Congratulations Cathy on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Alex Newman

Chief Financial Officer & Director of Business Services
Administration Center
December 7, 2022

One of Alex's colleagues shared: "It has been great working with Alex for the last five years. He is understanding, patient, and willing to help others in all areas of their jobs.  Personally, Alex is always someone I can turn to for advice or guidance. For these reasons alone, he is a wonderful person to work for and has become a strong leader for the SCM team. It is also nice to see him share stories or pictures of his family because his face always lights up. I will definitely miss Alex."


  • Began as an Independent Contractor on August 8, 2017
  • Moved to role as CFO & Director of Business Services on December 1, 2017

Another colleague had this to share about Alex: "Many times, I've just popped into his office to discuss something and he appears to be quite involved in work but doesn't hesitate to take the time to listen to you and give his full attention. In my opinion, you can go to him with anything and get an honest answer or opinion. He completely trusts his employees from what I've witnessed in the time I've worked at SCM. Alex has a great attitude and his fun spirit will be missed by so many."

Former Assistant Superintendent Dr. Bruce Stahly had this to say about Alex: "As I was getting ready to “retire” I heard that Alex Newman was leaving PHM, I contacted a PHM administrator that I knew well and asked about Alex. That person highly recommended him and so with Dr. Speicher’s permission we asked Alex to come to SCM on a contractual basis so he could see whether he was interested in the job and for us to evaluate whether he was the right person. We felt after a short time of his work that he was the right person and today I feel even stronger that SCM was exceedingly fortunate to hire Mr. Newman. To me, he has exceeded all expectations in stabilizing and growing SCM finances and programs. I am pleased that he is being recognized for this well-deserved honor by SCM!"

Congratulations Alex on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Darlene Cochran

Administrative Assistant for the Human Resources Department
Administration Center
November 9, 2022

One of Darlene's colleagues shared: "Whether you are working with or vacationing with Darlene - you better have your running shoes on. She is always sprinting to help a staff member or to meet a state deadline. While vacationing she must see every sunset, every tourist spot, eat at every great restaurant and see every wildlife within a 10 mile radius, especially moose."


  • Just completed her 27th year at School City of Mishawaka
  • Worked for 9 years as a secretary at John Young Middle School
  • Has been at the Administration Center in the Human Resources Department ever since

Another colleague had this to share about Darlene: "The first two words that pop into my mind when I think about Darlene are helpful and thoughtful. Darlene is helpful to anyone and everyone, always going the extra mile to ensure the SCM staff get the information and assistance they need. If someone needs to be celebrated, congratulated, or just cheered up, Darlene is always the person thoughtful enough to send a card, buy a gift, or just offer a shoulder to cry on. Darlene truly cares about the SCM staff and you can see that in everything she does. School City of Mishawaka is very lucky to have an employee as selfless and loyal as Darlene, and I consider myself just as lucky to have Darlene in my life as a friend."


  • Once met Muhammad Ali at a John Young Middle School basketball game.
  • Hosts an annual family Christmas-themed dinner. The theme this year is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
  • "I take too many photos of EVERYTHING."
  • Her obsession with Dr. Pepper started as a five year old when her aunt introduced it to her for breakfast by adding peanuts to the bottle (it's a southern thing).
  • She and her best friend (of over 40 years) share the same birthday and year...her best friend is older by about four hours.
  • Favorite title is "Gigi".
  • Bucket list includes visiting all the National Parks and riding in the hot air balloon with Erica Weaver-Creed.

Congratulations Darlene on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Jackie Miller

2nd Grade Teacher
Emmons Elementary School
October 26, 2022

One of her colleagues shared: "Jackie is an inspiring teacher and friend. She is someone who you can always count on to be there to support you in any way possible. I appreciate Jackie's willingness to always listen and lend a helping hand. Her colleagues and students are incredibly lucky to have the privilege of knowing such a wonderful person and teacher."


  • She is in her 19th year of teaching
  • Jackie did her student teaching at Hums with Becky Shannon
  • Started her teaching career at Battell
  • Has been at Emmons the past 15 years
  • When sheis not teaching, you can probably find Jackie and her husband, Brian, at a sporting event or spending time with their family.
  • Jackie stated, "The best part of teaching is having your students come back and visit. I love watching how they have grown into awesome young adults."

Jackie feels she is only a part of the puzzle that makes Emmons Elementary School great. She wanted to make sure and recognize and celebrate some great things going on at Emmons:

  • Her 2nd grade team with Cara Patton and Allison Florkowski
  • Kindness Club led by Miss Hoke
  • Boys to Men Club led by Mr. Bach, Mr. Bitner, Dr. Waltz, and Mr. Addison
  • Puzzle Club led by Mrs. DeClark
  • Mrs. Wolfe and Mrs. Bitner are on the Emmons MPG Board

A colleague summed up why Jackie is so deserving of being recognized for a #JobWellDone: "I have been blessed with the most AMAZING teaching partner. Not only is Jackie Miller a fantastic teacher but an incredible friend. Jackie's whole heart truly bleeds kids. She loves them ALL no matter what! Everyone should watch her greet her class in the mornings. She makes them all feel like superstars and gives her "kids" a sense of family as they enter her classroom. Throughout the day, enthusiastic lessons, wonderful stories, innovative ideas, lots of laughter, and a pure love for little learners are found in Room 105. What an honor to watch Mrs. Miller work her magic every day. Soak up this award Jackie. You deserve it!"

Coongratulations Jackie on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Erica Weaver-Creed

Administrative Assistant for the Technology Department
Administration Center
October 12, 2022

One of Erica's colleagues shared: "Erica's tenacity, positive presence, and willingness to communicate are what make her deserving of a #JobWellDone. Over the last few years, she has helped set a precedent of excellence for the technology department, and that can be shown in the work she does everyday."


  • Student Office Worker - 2003
  • Summer Maintenance/Groundskeeper
  • Instructional Assistant - Liberty & LaSalle
  • Program Assistant - LaSalle
  • Technology Assistant - LaSalle
  • Administrative Assistant - Technology Department
  • MHS JV Head Softball Coach - 2015-2021

Another colleague had this to share about Erica: "When I first started Erica was a program assistant and she always went over and beyond for not only the kids she was working with but all the kids at LaSalle. Then she moved into our computer tech position and I can't tell you how many times she has had to deal with me calling her with my dumb questions. Never once did she make me feel dumb or that I was bothering her. She was always willing to help, and usually showed up at my desk within five minutes of my phone call. Again, she has always gone over and above for not only our students but our staff at LaSalle. Even now that she has moved on from LaSalle, I have still contacted her a couple times about IT issues, for one, because I know she will always have the answer, and two, I miss her dearly and it was an excuse to say hi. Thanks Erica for always going the extra mile!"


  • Enjoys spending time with her family - Nathan (husband) and children (Lily and Brady)
  • Two fur babies: Sooner Mae (3 year old lab hound mix) and Big AL (2 year old guinea pig)
  • 4th generation MHS graduate - Class of 2004
  • Obsessions include: Mowing the lawn, animals, and house plants
  • Favorite TV Show: Doctor Pimple Popper
  • What’s on Erica’s Bucket List: Riding in a hot air balloon and milking a cow

A colleague summed up why Erica is so deserving of being recognized for a #JobWellDone: "Erica has carried over her selfless work ethic from her position as a Tech. Assistant to the district Technology Administrative Assistant. She continues to put others first and does so with a positive attitude. Regardless of how busy Erica gets, she without a doubt does everything she can to solve any issue no matter how big or small. Her dedication and patience is unsurpassable, which is evident in her work. She is beyond humble which is why so many are appreciative of the effort she puts forth on a daily basis. It is a pleasure to have Erica be part of the technology department but better yet, to have her as an SCM employee, truly, she is one of a kind!"

Congratulations Erica on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Shelley Nowacki

P.E./Health Teacher & 100 Hallway Team Leader
John Young Middle School
September 28, 2022

A colleague of Shelley's shared: "I am new to John Young and just learning the ropes. Shelly has been beside me all the way, asking if I need help and checking in to see if I am comfortable. As a hall leader, she directs team discussions in a way that is beneficial to the needs of the students while making sure we are all comfortable with decisions. She also makes sure we as teachers are being heard. We know that she will always have our back and is a catalyst in creating a positive teaching environment. It is a pleasure to have her as a leader, colleague and friend."


  • Class of 1992 MHS Graduate
  • Received her Bachelor Degree from Ball State
  • Earned a Masters in Secondary Education at IUSB
  • Starting August 2001, taught at MHS for two years
  • Has been teaching at JYMS ever since

Another colleague had this to share about Shelley: "She IS 100% all about Mishawaka; It's past, it's present, and it's future. She fully believes that through hard work, dedication, creating relationships, and being positive, she can help make Mishawaka the best place to raise a family, work, and to send your children to school. She NEVER hesitates to volunteer to help at John Young; whether it's chaperoning the dances, supervising students before or after school, or being on committees. Shelley arrives at JYMS with a smile on her face and even on her worst days, leaves school with a smile on her face. She gives so much of herself to the students, staff, administration, and Mishawaka community and deserves to be recognized for a "Job Well Done". It is my pleasure to to work with her and I am blessed to not only call her a colleague, but also a friend."


  • She has three children: Ethan is a junior at Ball State studying Exercise Science, Dawson is a senior at MHS, and Jillian is in 7th grade at JYMS
  • Her husband Craig is the Uniform Chief of Police for Mishawaka
  • They have one dog, Watford
  • Her parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews all attended Mishawaka: "We bleed maroon and white!"
  • She has been President of the Mishawaka Touchdown Club for the past two years and on the board for three years prior to that
  • Currently Vice President of the JYMS MPG
  • "I LOVE football!" - The Green Bay Packers are her team (other than the Cavemen of course)
  • Starting in the 80's, she and her sister have attended a concert for every Bon Jovi tour
  • She has 24 first cousins on one side of her family

A fellow JYMS colleague summed up why Shelley is so deserving of being recognized for a #JobWellDone: "Shelley is a dedicated teacher, mom, wife, and citizen of Mishawaka. Within John Young, she is always lending a helpful hand to be on a committee or with planning special events. She also has a generous heart. Whenever a student is in need, she never hesitates to give. If a student can't afford to go to a dance, she pays for them. If a student can't afford a field trip, she's the first person to give money so the student can go. Shelley is also kind to her colleagues. There have been many tough days at school, but having someone like Shelley around lightens the load. She's encouraging, willing to listen, and is always good for a laugh. She supports her teammates by remembering the little things like birthdays and the personal life events we may struggle with. Someone always putting good out into the world deserves a #JobWellDone!"

Congratulations Shelley on a #JobWellDone!



Degrees and Certifications:

Clara Bepe

Economics and Ethnic Studies Teacher & Beyond the Cave Director
Mishawaka High School
September 14, 2022

Ms. Bepe is a third generation teacher. Both of her parents were teachers for the first 10 years of her life. She taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies at Brown Intermediate for the first three years of her career. While at Brown Intermediate, she started a girls after school mentoring program that reduced suspension rates by 60% for girls enrolled in the program. Clara shared, "I became a teacher to help mold adolescent minds and prepare them for adulthood."

  • Bachelors in Education, IUSB
  • Masters in Public Affairs, IUSB
  • In final semester of MBA program, Bethel University
  • Teaching Economics and Ethnic Studies at Mishawaka High School since 2018
  • Became Beyond the Cave Director last Fall


  • Loves to spend time with family and friends
  • Oldest of 3 siblings
  • Her mom, Wadzie Bepe, is a Resource Teacher at Battell
  • Her sister, Carol Bepe, is a Program Assistant at the Administration Center
  • Enjoys traveling - favorite place visited is Stockholm, Sweden
  • Likes to go shopping in her free time

"Throughout my years at MHS, I’ve noticed that Ms. Bepe makes an effort to get to know each and every student. She’s a great person to talk to, and will carve time out of her busy schedule for anyone. I’m so thankful to have Ms. Bepe as not just a teacher, but as a mentor. She is truly influential at MHS, and I hope to become just like that one day."

"Ms.Bepe, someone who has countless amazing qualities to her name. She is a kind-hearted, inspirational, incredibly smart, ambitious, and compassionate person. Above all, I think the most admirable trait she has is her ability to reach everyone that she interacts with. She makes it her job to get to know everyone that she can. She is someone that knows how to interact with any type of person she comes across. Ms. Bepe knows how to not only help others, but also herself reach the desired goals that are set and will get through any challenges that may arise. She is one of the most influential and inspiring people I have met during my four years at MHS. If you have not yet had a chance to meet her, I very strongly suggest doing so, you will not be disappointed."

Congratulations Clara on a #JobWellDone!