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18 December 2007
JSU Housekeeper Ester Uesry Named Employee of the Year

By Megan Nichols
Special to The Star

Reprinted here in its entirety.

JACKSONVILLE — Ester Uesry spends her days on five floors of Jacksonville State University’s library.

Starting at 6:30 a.m., she mops, vacuums, dusts, and cleans bathrooms on floors eight through 12 of Houston Cole Library, pausing occasionally to speak to students she recognizes.

When the JSU Board of Trustees meets on the 11th floor of the library, Uesry is especially careful to make sure everything is neat before they arrive.

Uesry, 55, was honored as the university’s 2007 employee of the year at a staff luncheon Monday. She said she was surprised to receive the award, which came with a plaque.

“I think maybe they chose me because everybody says I do a real good job and I try to get along with everybody,” she said. “I work real hard at being good at my job.”

Brenda Measles, housekeeping supervisor for Jacksonville State, said Uesry is one of her best workers. Measles said Uesry’s dedication to her job is one reason she wrote a letter nominating her for employee of the month. Uesry won that honor in May, which put her in the running for employee of the year.

“Ester is very dependable,” Measles said. “She is never wasting time and really takes pride in her work. She absolutely does go the extra mile in everything she does. Other than that, we just plain like her.”

Uesry is from the Jacksonville area and has been married to her husband, Bobby Uesry, for 35 years. She said she held various jobs before working at the university, but has enjoyed her seven years as a JSU housekeeper.

“I like to meet all the new and different people,” she said. “It’s fun to get to know people at work that you probably would not get a chance to meet in your regular life.”

Karen Davis, the university’s director of human resources, is responsible for organizing the employee luncheon at the end of each fall semester. She said it is an important day across the university.

“The students are gone, most of the faculty is gone, and this is really a time when we can thank those people who help make this university run,” she said. “We want to make sure they do not go unnoticed and unappreciated, because without them this would not be the great place that it is.”

Several factors are carefully considered when the school’s staff advisory council chooses the employee of the year, Davis said.

“They look for the employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty,” she said. “Just the employee who overall is a little bit better than he or she has to be.”

Davis said it was a tough choice this year, but that Uesry definitely deserved the honor.

Uesry said she plans on working as a housekeeper at the university for as long as she can.

“I’m really happy here,” she said. “As long as they will have me, I’ll be here.”

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