AMS honors education ‘friends’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When a group of Andalusia Middle School students were asked to name one person in the community who has impacted their lives, many names came to mind.

Those individuals were honored Tuesday at a Friends of Education tea.

Tuesday’s tea was the second tea held this school year in honor of the “friends.”

Students recognized individuals who have influenced them in countless ways, ranging from athletics to church leadership to picking them up from school and helping with homework.

But, the general consensus from those recognized was that they were happy to have an impact on the students, and the students were a joy for them to be around.

“I am thankful to be honored as a friend of education,” said Hannah Shakespeare, who was recognized by Shay Thomas for being a part of her life.

Christina Worley said she helps Tessa Worley and her sister with their homework every day.

Worley said she tried to instill in the girls that they can do anything they set their minds to.

AMS teacher and organizer Linda Kyle said this program began five years ago.

“We know it’s a critical time during middle school,” she said. “It can either go up or down from here.”

Kyle said the community has a considerable impact on who a child becomes.

“It is inevitable that the community the child grows up in will influence who they become,” she said.

Students in the community need adults to surround them with love, Kyle said.

“Children at AMS are murals, and we are all making marks,” she said.

Those recognized are role models, which Kyle said is a vital part to students becoming who they want to be.

Those honored Tuesday were Robbie Ballard, Christina Worley, Ricky Paul, Jimmy Faulkner, Nathan Langley, Hannah Shakespeare, Stacy Jones, Chris Hutcheson, Jessica Rogers, Molly Griffin, Loryn Lee, Steve Godwin, Rhonda Cleghorn, Joey Griffin, Ben Brannon, Kyle Baumgartner, Sharon Marshall, Charles Eldridge, Penneye Anderson, Patricia Griggers, Michael Jackson, Randi Watson, Renea Smith, Maria Thigpen, Melissa Wise, Barbara Tyler, Mary Ashley Wise, Jean Jones, Sonja Hines, Darlene Hogg, Helen Walker, Adriene Chesteen, Connie Karthaus, Heather Murphy, Justin Halford, Sue Wilson, Jeffery Jackson and Angela Burnett.