By Sherry Kughn
31 January 2005 — When Stephanie
Przedwojewski lived in New Hampshire, she heard from her sister Suiko Roper, a secretary in the
JSU biology department, that JSU was a great place to work. She applied for several jobs at
JSU for more than three years before she was hired as a groundskeeper.
In December, Ms. Przedwojewski was named JSU’s Employee of the Year after only four years on
the job, and one of those she spent in Iraq as a member of the National Guard.
“The best part of working here is the people I work with,” said Ms. Przedwojewski.
Groundskeepers at JSU have a variety of duties, which pleases Ms. Przedwojewski. They move
furniture, dust books, set up chairs for various functions, and maintain the lawns.
“I feel a lot of pride in working with the people here,” said Ms. Przedwojewski. “They show pride
in what they do and are real hard workers.”
Supervisor of landscaping and grounds is Steven “Beaver” Johnston. He said he nominated Ms. Przedwojewski
based on her good attitude, her loyalty to the university, and her good work ethic.
"She’s in charge of a certain zone at the university,” he said. “It always looks great. She does a super
job for us.”
Ms. Przedwojewski’s National Guard unit was called to Iraq in April 2003. She spent 367 days there and put
to use her skills in exterior plumbing. She said the hot weather made the job hard, and she was often
anxious about safety. During at least four of the months spent in Iraq, her unit served at the Abu Gharib
prison, an area where she said she never felt very safe.
Ms. Przedwojewski’s status as employee of the year earned her a special parking spot and $500. She
declined the parking spot, saying she liked the one she has better. As for the $500, she was happy to
get it, she said.
She has two grown children, a son Robert and a daughter Kou, who live in New Hampshire. She says she
likes “being domestic.” She likes to sew, crochet, and landscape the yard around her house, which is
north, just outside the city limits of Jacksonville.
The 2004 Employee of the Year was announced at the annual staff awards luncheon on December 20. At this
luncheon service pins were awarded (see Service
Pin List 2004) and all of the employees who had served
as employee of the month were recognized. They are for each respective month beginning with January:
Annette Beason from the psychology department; Kevin McFry from the comptroller’s office; Sherry Taylor
of the internal audit department; Judy Porter from the office of continuing education; Courtney Peppers
from learning services; Marian Bryant from the financial aid office; Patricia Lacks from the International
House; Sue Gardner from the criminal justice department; Ms. Przedwojewski; Lynn Varcak from the registrar’s
office; Alan Wallace from the office of information technology; and Jan Brim from the nursing department.
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