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story.lead_photo.caption Students and staff at Bartley Elementary put messages of support and love on cleaning tools for Tina Bezler, the Fulton Public Schools Support Staff of the Year. Bezler is the day custodian at Bartley. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Being the day custodian at Bartley Elementary isn't a thankless job for Tina Bezler.

She's been chosen as Fulton Public Schools' Support Staff of the Year, out of hundreds of staff members in the school system.

"(And) my Bartley family makes me feel appreciated all the time," Bezler said.

Bezler has been with Fulton Public Schools since 1996. She started at Bush Elementary as a dishwasher, was the Fulton Middle School kitchen manager for three years, did a seven-year stint at the day custodian at Fulton High School and has worked at Bartley ever since.

"I have three children, and the schedule worked really well when they were smaller, plus the benefits are good," she said.

Now, her grandchild attends Bartley.

"I also enjoy the camaraderie in the district," Bezler added.

Bartley's principal, Connie Epperson, nominated Bezler for the award.

"I've been here for 17 years and worked with Tina for 13 of them," she said. "She's not only got such a strong work ethic but she's great with the kids."

Epperson said Bezler regularly goes above and beyond. Recently, Bezler brought in food from her own cabinets after a few children said they didn't have enough at home, Epperson said.

Bezler credited her upbringing and Epperson with helping her become who she is today.

"(My motto is) just do your best," Bezler said. "Like Connie said, I've got a strong work ethic. It's the way I was raised."

Bezler said the award came as a total surprise to her.

"I found out May 1 at the end-of-year reception," she said. "I had no clue, prior."

She said she zoned out during the ceremony, looking around the room for clues about who the winner was.

"And people were looking at me," she said. "Then another support staff has her phone out, pointing out me, and Connie's looking at me and grinning. That's when it dawned on me."

Her coworkers decorated a toilet seat and a bevvy of cleaning supplies in honor of Bezler's win.

In her spare time, Bezler enjoys fishing, camping, watching NASCAR races and spending time with her family.

Check Sunday's Fulton Sun for a profile on the FPS Teacher of the Year, Trish Alexander.

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