HERSHEY: A Pennsylvania State Police clerk typist from Schuylkill County who founded an organization that assists families with special needs children was honored as the State Police Civilian Employee of the Year for 2009.

State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski presented the award to Darlene I. Stiely, 49, of Sacramento, during a ceremony at the State Police Academy in Hershey.

"Darlene Stiely plays a key role in the day-to-day operations at the State Police Schuylkill Haven station," Pawlowski said. "Away from work, she puts in countless hours helping to improve the lives of those in need in her community."

Pawlowski said Stiely handles multiple duties at the 40-member Schuylkill Haven station, including administrative record-keeping, managing leave and pay programs, and tracking expenses for routine and special enforcement efforts. She also manages the station's intern program.

Stiely is founder and president of the board of directors of the Tyler Stiely Memorial Fund, which provides support to Tri-Valley area families with special needs children. Since its founding in 1999, the fund has raised more than $141,000 to carry out its mission. The fund was established in honor of Stiely's son Tyler, who died in 1999.

Pawlowski said Stiely is the church secretary at St. Paul's UCC Church and works part time with The ReDCO Group and Access Services, both of which provide services for adults with special needs.

Stiely received an associate degree in business marketing from Central Penn College. She and her husband Alan have a daughter, Kayla, 21, who recently graduated from George Mason University.

Pawlowski said Stiely was nominated for the award by Sgt. Steven J. Stinsky, station commander at Troop L, Schuylkill Haven.