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Jefferson Award: Dee Sturgeon

Before the bell rings, before classes begin, there's an early bird already on campus. Every morning, West Middle School Teacher's aide Dee Sturgeon is one of the first people to arrive on school grounds.

"Dee is very accountable, she's dependable, she is very reliable. We start our days very early here at West Middle School. Dee starts her day on her own accord here at 6:15 am some days in the morning, if not earlier," said Rebecca Rieken, Assistant Principal at West Middle School.

Sturgeon always looks forward to her job, assisting students with special needs and building meaningful relationships with them.

"I just think that it's great that she shows interest and hopefully they can be mentors to other students in the school. They can be role models and one day when I do retire, hopefully one of them can step in and take my shoes," said Sturgeon.

And that's not her only passion. For more than 25 years, Dee has volunteered for Relay for Life and despite fighting her own personal battle with cancer in the past, Dee has also shown her dedication to kids with special needs, serving as a Special Olympics coach for more than 30 years.

"I'm honored to be involved and operate in this organization and I just hope Siouxland can come out and support all these causes and help me make Siouxland a better place," said Sturgeon.

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