Highlighting K.I. Sawyer Elementary school staff ahead of Thanksgiving

We are shining a light on some jobs in schools that don’t always get the credit they deserve.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 8:56 AM EST
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K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) - Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are shining a light on some jobs in schools that don’t always get the credit they deserve.

Bobbie Chambers has been an LRE Paraprofessional at K.I. Sawyer Elementary for 14 years. LRE stands for Least Restrictive Environment. Chambers helps the students in a variety of ways including those with special needs or taking them for short breaks when they get restless.

“If they need help, they ask for it. I give them help as needed, and then if they need to take a break, I’ll take them out for a walk so they can get their wiggles out and then come back so they can be successful in the classroom,” Chambers said.

Chambers says the interactions with the students make the job worthwhile, so much so in fact, anyone thinking of a career in education should try starting as a Paraprofessional.

“The smiles on their faces, like when they come off the bus, and I’m there to greet them in the morning, and it’s ‘Good morning, glad you’re here today,’ and I get lots of hugs. It’s 100 percent worth it and anybody that’s even possibly thinking about being in education, start out as a paraprofessional,” Chambers said.

Chambers also says she has plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.

“I am thankful for the work family that I have, my husband Carl, my kids and my grandbabies that just moved here from Texas so I get to spend my first Thanksgiving with them,” Chambers said.

Kelly Storms also works at K.I. Sawyer Elementary as the custodian. She’s worked there for nearly six years and says while the work can be thankless, the students and staff let her know she is appreciated.

“It is a thankless job, but when it comes to being here, they are so grateful for the work that I do, it’s just a job to have, to be around the kids every day and the work environment,” Storms said.

Storms says the students often draw her pictures, including one on a self-portrait wall in the school hallway.

“Every day just coming in and giving me a hug, and always calling my name, ‘Ms. Kelly, Ms. Kelly,’ they bring me presents all the time, they adore me and I adore them very much, they thank me for all the jobs I do and I have a good relationship with all the kids here,” Storms said.

Storms is also thankful for working at K.I. Sawyer and her family.

“I am thankful for working here at KI Sawyer Elementary. I’m also thankful for my family, my dog, my nieces and nephews,” Storms said.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we’re thankful for all school staff who work their best each day to make sure the students can be successful in the classrooms.