Former Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Allan Polunsky of San Antonio, the man for whom the award and maximum-security unit in Livingston is named, was on hand for the sixth straight year to present the honor to Spitaleri. In addition to a certificate, Polunsky also awards each year’s winner a $500 check and two roundtrip airline tickets for travel to any city within the continental United States.
“It is an extreme pleasure and honor to be here today and to have the opportunity to visit with employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, whom I have the highest degree of respect for,” Polunsky said.
Spitaleri started as a correctional officer at the Polunsky Unit in 1993 and later worked as a general population property officer before becoming a field training officer. Members of the Polunsky Unit’s senior staff selected her for the award, which annually recognizes the outstanding work performance of a unit employee.
“In her current position, she is one of the first unit-level staff to interact with newly-assigned officers,” Polunsky said in making the award. “She shares her knowledge and expertise with these officers and helps them transition as they learn to put to practical use what they learned in the academy. She is a true public servant for the state of Texas and an excellent example for everyone to follow.”