Sgt. Brandon High honored as 2020 Employee of the Year

Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 12:29pm

Wake Forest Police Sgt. Brandon High is the Town of Wake Forest “2020 Jon Ray Employee of the Year.” Town Manager Kip Padgett made the announcement during a recent police roll call at Town Hall.

A Wake Forest Police officer since 2015, High was nominated for the award by several co-workers who praised his dignity, integrity and dedication to the police department and community. Prior to presenting High with a plaque recognizing him as this year’s Employee of the Year, Padgett read aloud several comments employees included in their nomination narratives.

“Sgt. High is an advocate for his fellow officers and is always there to assist them in their time of need,” wrote one. “Anytime an employee has an illness or has a family matter occur, Sgt. High is quick to check on their well-being. He makes exhaustive efforts to positively interact and develop relationships with the citizens of Wake Forest.”

Another person wrote: “Sgt. High will always do what is right. He is the first to volunteer for any event or activity where he can talk to the public or try to help someone.”

Other comments included: “Sgt. High shows that he cares by talking to citizens and going the extra mile to ensure they know they can contact the police department if they ever need help. He has shown the dedication to caring by taking care of his squad and taking personal interest in members of this town.”

“Sgt. High constantly arranges outside work functions in order for the squad to grow closer. He doesn’t just let his squad do all the hard work, he steps up and leads from the front and works with us. He is an extremely gracious and confident leader and a friend.”

A Raleigh native, High graduated from Sanderson High School in 2005. He then attended East Carolina University where he graduated with a Criminal Justice degree in 2009.

High admitted to being shocked yet honored to hear his name announced as this year’s winner.

“I was shocked and did not know what to say,” said High. “It is an honor that people I work with think enough of me to have nominated me. There are so many Town employees that do a great job, it’s truly an honor to have been chosen.”

High also took a moment to acknowledge his fellow officers and the Wake Forest community.  

“I would like to thank everyone I work with and the members of this community,” he said. “They give my job meaning. It’s also the people that make Wake Forest the best place to work and live.”

The Jon Ray Employee of the Year Award is named after former Street Supervisor Jon Ray who passed away in November 2013. Padgett, along with a committee comprised of former EOY award winners, selects the Employee of the Year from nominations submitted by Town staff. Submissions must include a written narrative explaining why the nominee is deserving of the award.


Previous Employee of the Year Award recipients include Telecommunications Shift Supervisor Bryan Bloodworth (2019), Athletics & Aquatics Superintendent Edward Austin (2018), Graphics Coordinator Bess Martinson (2017), Recreation Program Superintendent Monica Lileton (2016), Public Facilities Specialist Joseph Pennington (2015), Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Crew Supervisor Randy Hoyle (2014), Street Supervisor Jon Ray (2013), Senior Code Enforcement Official Tim Edwards (2012), Senior Planner Candace Davis (2011), Construction Worker Lance Pontrelli (2010), Police D.A.R.E. Officer Scott Graham (2009), Assistant Public Works Director John Thrift (2008), Maintenance Worker Gennie Williams (2007), Accounting Services Manager LaVerne Harding (2006), Inspections Administrator J.J. Carr (2005), and Human Resources Director Tammy Moody (2004).