Crowley County Correctional Facility, Olney Springs, Colorado, 16 Years
While her official job title is vocational instructor, Sadie Hernandez is known by her colleagues for being involved in all aspects of Crowley County Correctional Facility. From involvement on the Employee Activity Committee, to focus groups, serving as the facility's ethics liaison, and simply filling in where needed, Hernandez is the person her coworkers can rely on to get the job done.
“I never put myself out there to be a hero,” Hernandez said. “I volunteer to lend a hand when it’s needed. I consider myself a team player at heart. I love collaborating with my coworkers, so it’s a great honor to be recognized like this.”
COVID-19 has led to many changes throughout the facility, including the education programs that Hernandez teaches. She now checks students’ temperatures when they report to class, enforces mask-wearing and social distancing, and keeps everything sanitized and cleaned between classes. Plus, she creates homework packets and distributes them to help students keep up with learning during periods of quarantine.
“I can't have the same one-on-one contact with students that I did before,” Hernandez explained. “Now, I teach from afar so I have to make sure that I keep engaging my students. One thing is for sure – this field is always evolving to keep me growing professionally. I love the work, and it is what I want to continue doing throughout my career.”