After 30 years of passionate work with the Portage la Prairie School Division, Joni Maxwell was celebrated with an Excellence in Education Award.

Maxwell has served as an Administrative Assistant at Fort la Reine School for the last 28 years, walking students to school, answering phones and doing everything that's asked of her.

"It's great working with the kids," she says. "I love my job, and I can't stress enough that I do love my job."

Fort la Reine Principal, Matt Harkness, explains that Maxwell was as deserving as anyone for the award.

"She does lots for our school and goes above and beyond what's asked of her," he says.

Harkness is Maxwell's fifth principal at the school and was part of the group that nominated the Administrative Assistant.

"She's helping wherever she can and going above and beyond, which is great to see, and we really appreciate her for that," Harkness continues in his praise. "She's very meticulous, making sure she crosses all the T's and dots all the I's. She keeps us all organized."

Maxwell highlights that the connections she has made from the start of her career have lasted all these years later, as former students who are close to 40 years old still often remember her.

"If they see me on the street, they'll always talk and remember me. So, that's nice." 

She adds that, like any job, there are some challenges. However, she is happy to be in her position and was very humbled to get this type of recognition at the May 9th school board meeting.

"It was absolutely wonderful. It was very nice to be recognized for something that I enjoy doing. I was just so grateful and thankful for everybody that was there to support me, and thank you to my bosses for nominating me."

Maxwell notes she is still in awe of being picked for the acknowledgment.