Opinion: Honoring unsung heroes

Published 3:08 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

When people think of the important components of a school system, often times we immediately think of teachers, coaches and principals. However, in each school system there are a group of individuals whose behind-the-scenes efforts often go unnoticed despite their contribution to the school system’s success.

The Alabaster City Schools Board of Education took time during a recent meeting to honor and recognize its support personnel of the year on March 13 in Alabaster City Hall.

“What a wonderful board meeting to be able to recognize our support people of the year that make so many wonderful things happen for our students and our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said.

During the meeting, each person recognized was called forward and was given a plaque in honor of the accolade. Overall winners were also selected with Maxine Burns winning overall Support Person of the Year, and Sandra Lovett winning overall Child Nutrition Program Person of the Year.

“I’m very proud of the individuals represented today,” Vickers said. “They certainly are champions, and they represent us well as a school system.”

During the recognition, the board honored its bus drivers who play the crucial role of ensuring that many students make it to school. They also perform the same service after school ensuring that kids return home safely. Bus drivers have to have the patience to deal with a vehicle full of children all while safely navigating the roads and following procedures. Often times they also provide additional services outside of school by transporting students on field trips or by taking extracurricular groups such as the band, or football team to other schools or a competition.

The ACS BOE also honored several members of its Child Nutrition Program during the meeting. A team that is comprised of managers and cafeteria workers. Individuals work together to ensure that food is safe, cooked correctly and complies with legal guidelines. They prepare food and deliver it students on serving lines. Free and reduced lunch programs are also an invaluable service that is offered through the Child Nutrition Department.

Counselors Lucy Chapman and Vicki Williams were honored during the meeting for the role they place in ACS. Counselors have the job of serving the school system by promoting equity and providing an accessible space for prevention, intervention and counseling.

Officer workers and administration provide a cohesive structure to make sure that the school is organized and can communicate effectively. They assist visitors and ensure students are checked-out properly.

There are other positions in the school system that were not honored at the event but also play an important role such as athletic directors, custodians, school resource officers, aides and nurses.

An old proverb says it takes a village to raise a child and that saying is even more true today. It’s good to take time and honor the many people who do so much yet receive so little.