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Schmucker's Head Custodian Miss Julie surprised being named PHM Classified Employee of the Year

Principal Dean-Null & Dr. Thacker surprise Miss Julie on WSMS Morning Announcements on May 2

Spring is always a busy time of year for Penn-Harris-Madison; just like flowers and the budding trees, school activities pop up all over the place as soon as the weather slowly warms up.


The first couple of weeks of May is when Superintendent Dr. Thacker generally makes his rounds of the schools surprising a couple of teachers naming an elementary and secondary teachers of the year. He also names a Classified Employee of the Year. So when employees see him unexpectedly this time of year, they usually realize right away what’s going on once the astonishment wears off! Click to look through the photo gallery below.


This was the case with our Head Custodian Miss Julie Demske on the morning of Monday, May 2. She was actually on the roof of Schmucker when she was radioed to come to the school’s WSMS studios to fix an emergency. Since it was during morning announcements, Julie thought maybe there was a light out or something. But as soon as she walked into the studio, right on que, and saw and heard Dr. Thacker talking about P-H-M’s Classified Employee of the Year, she knew what was up. Watch P-H-M’s first school wide live surprise in the video below … 


Julie was so touched with the honor that it brought her to tears. Thank you to Carla Wisler who nominated Julie and has worked with her for three years.


Julie is a Penn graduate, Class of ‘88. She started working at P-H-M when she was 21 as a bus operator; she also trained drivers for their CDL. Julie was a bus operator for 11 years and then left to pursue another career. Fortunately for P-H-M, she came back in 2011 as a custodian and earned the position of Head Custodian of Schmucker Middle School in 2015.


Julie says she enjoys her job and Schmucker “because of the amazing administration team and the staff they make you feel like you ‘belong’ here. The kids are the reason we take so much pride in what we do here and that is to make sure this school is clean and ready everyday for students and guests. I am very humbled by the nomination and have to say I am one of those people who give 110% to anything I am doing. Thank you again for the consideration of this award.”

Congratulations Julie and THANK YOU for all you do for our students and staff every day!