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Georgia Ann Williams-Fitzpatrick, principal of Croughton Elementary School in England and a fixture in Department of Defense Dependents Schools for almost three decades, has been recognized for her hard work and dedication.

Williams-Fitzpatrick was presented with the Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Disability Award for 2008 earlier this month in Bethesda, Md. She started her career with DODDS 28 years ago and has worked in Japan, Germany and England.

She was nominated for the award by Beverly Brinn, a school counselor. Williams-Fitzpatrick said she was surprised and overjoyed by the honor.

"It is good to know that your efforts are recognized," Williams-Fitzpatrick said. "Some things may be a little more difficult for me to do than other administrators."

Williams-Fitzpatrick has severe arthritis in her knees and partial loss of her left foot because of a bone disease. She has been disabled since 1998. And although her disability affects her mobility, that does not stop her from getting around the school.

"I am in every class every day," Williams-Fitzpatrick said. "This is a small school, so that is easy to do, but that has been my policy for the last six or seven years."

Williams-Fitzpatrick also teaches students about different cultures at the school. She has gotten involved in the community as a church musician for the past 20 years and is an ordained minister.

She received a Special Act Award for using CPR to save a life and has received Exceptional Performance Awards in 23 of the 28 years she has worked for DODDS.

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