Katie arrives each day with a smile on her face. She warmly greets and helps each person who comes into the office. Often there will be a child who needs some extra TLC, or just a listening ear and Katie is there for them. She has put on many band-aids, she checks temperatures, and calls parents to give them updates on their children. Katie is a mother of three wonderful children, so she has personal experience that relays directly to the children here. Katie has brightened up our office by decorating each season and for the holidays. Everyone who passes through makes comments on the cheery, happy look our office has. Newport Primary has a wide range of people, events and situations surrounding it on a daily basis. Katie handles them all with ease. She genuinely cares for the children here as well as the families in our community. Katie uses her time to help the teachers, nurse and staff. She does a beautiful job with the Wildcat of the Month bulletin board, always keeping it updated. The roles that Katie plays are endless. She is fair, polite and a fantastic role model for our school.
Shirley and Ms. Molly met the summer before Shirley’s granddaughter, Dominique, started Kindergarten at the then-Fourth Street Elementary School, where Molly served as the Family Resource Center Coordinator. This was almost ten years ago now, and she was interested in volunteering. Much of the time, with volunteers, we try to connect them with building staff, doing specific tasks during their available hours. With Shirley, we had found something more. She was raised in Newport, graduated in the Newport High School Class of 1961. She raised her own family in Newport, too. She also helped raise a few extras along the way. And now she helps take care of hundreds of children, and staff, in Newport Primary School. She changes students’ clothing, organizes and distributes supplies, and has almost completely taken over the huge job of meeting the Freestore Foodbank delivery truck, organizing PowerPacks, and getting them to the children who need them. Shirley works with a few small groups of students in the building, listening to them read. She looks for sales on classroom supply items that teachers are looking for, and sometimes spends her own money to replenish supplies. She buys Christmas gifts for students, when her heartstrings can’t get tugged any more tightly. Many times, she is doing, or preparing for, these duties after most of the staff has left the building. She brings her granddaughter, Dominique, back to complete an unfinished project…or she works in the school while Dominique is at an after school activity or sport...or she takes projects home because she knows the teacher needs it. And they’ll both show up in the evening, to help with events, when they know we’re nervous about having enough help. We all learn from Shirley. She slices the truth straight, with a side of sassy, and with a heaping serving of patience. Her support and friendship mean so much, to so many. We are all better people for knowing her.