Unsung hero awards

Published 10:00 am Thursday, May 16, 2024

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The Troup County School System recognized students, teachers and staff during Monday’s work session. The annual unsung hero awards were given to a small portion of the teachers that won, the rest will be given out at the board’s business meeting on Thursday. 

The Unsung Hero Award goes to 23 staff members in the district each year. The employees are voted on by their peers, principals and supervisors. 

Board member, Cathy Hunt said the award is given to those who, “have positively influenced the organization from behind the scenes with a positive attitude, a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary and a commitment to excellence.” 

Three were honored during the work session. Their respective principals introduced the recipients. 

Principal Martie Hornsby of Rosemont Elementary School introduced her school’s recipient and family liaison, Jennifer Cooley. 

“Cooley is the quintessential ‘unsung hero’…As our Family Liaison, Mrs. Colley goes above and beyond to build relationships with our families,” Hornsby said. “Cooley is the person to see when you need a snack, pep talk, a change of clothes, or a band-aid. She is most definitely the person you go to when you need a good laugh.”

Next up was Principal Whitney Glisson of Long Cane Middle School to celebrate front desk secretary, Maggie Powell.

“[Powell] operates like the heartbeat of our institution,” Glisson said. “Mrs. Powell goes beyond the job description, seamlessly juggling administrative tasks, ensuring we are all fed and clothed, and supporting teachers in any way she can.”

The last Unsung Hero award recipient was Sivan Walker, Troup High School’s secretary. Walker was introduced by Principal Chet Stewart. 

“Ms. Walker goes above and beyond every day…If she is with you she is with you and she will protect you at all costs,” Stewart said. “Our front office secretary had to step away from the position and Ms. Walker stepped in…Thank you Ms. Walker for your willingness to step in wherever help is needed.”

Another staff member was honored for receiving the Margarette Ann Julian Education Scholarship by the Gordon State College Foundation. Jennifer Hale of Hollis Hand ELementary received a scholarship for $2,854 to continue her education at Gordon State.

Troup County students were also recognized for their achievements during the work session. Four High School students received their Georgia FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Degrees earlier this month during the group’s convention in Macon. 

“The state degree is the highest degree awarded by the Georgia FFA Association,” said Hunt, “To receive the degree students must have completed at least two years of agriculture education, completed at least 300 hours or invested $1000 in their [experiential learning] project, 25 hours to community service, demonstrated leadership abilities and participated in at least five activities above the chapter level. “

The recipients of the State Degree were Carlee Wheelus, Jessie Honeycutt, Haley Thompson and Julia Ward. 

The youngest honoree of the night was first grader Ke’Mauri Peterson of Franklin Forest Elementary. Peterson was awarded ‘Best in Show in Troup County’ in the LaGrange Art Museum’s Creative Youth Art League Student Art Show. 

Peterson has been entering art shows since Kindergarten. Last year, he received First Place in the Drawing category at the art show. He got another first place at the Hummingbird Festival’s art show for the Elementary division.

“Ke’Mauri [Peterson] works very hard in Art with his art teacher, Mrs. Brittany Baskin, with the help of paraprofessional, Ms. Hannah Liddle, who helps differentiate art lessons. His creativity is also supported and encouraged by Sharon Mines,” Hunt said. “Ke’Mauri is constantly drawing and his artistic growth within a year span is incredible.”

As the winner of the museum’s show, Peterson received a scholarship from the LaGrange Art Museum board to attend art classes in the summer.