XENIA — Google “administrative support person” and you’ll see a plethora of definitions and suggestions.
In reality it should just say “see Heather Horsley.”
She personifies what it means to be a member of the support staff, indulging on a smorgasbord of duties. And it’s why she was named the district’s first Support Person of the Year for 2019.
“Really humbled,” Horsley said. “(Teachers) are the superheroes here. Anything I can do to make their day easier, that’s what I try to do. You do things day in, day out. You do it because you do it.”
In addition to usually being the first voice visitors hear when arriving at Warner, Horsley handles all attendance responsibilities, including making sure all state procedures are followed.
“Heather Horsley demonstrates quality and consistency in her work daily because of her attitude and professional conviction,” Warner Principal Ted Holop wrote in nominating Horsley. “She strives for perfection on the attendance, knowing where students are located at any moment of the day, keeping staff informed, holding staff accountable … ”
Horsley also mentored a group of students who showed little interest in school work or even going to class, according to Holop, and by the fourth quarter of last school year, one particular girl saw a 24 percent increase in her math grade and an 18 percent increase in science.
“Less behavior issues and insubordination is the biggest change we see because of Heather’s self designed program,” Holop wrote in the nomination.
And because of Horsley’s giving mindset, Warner Middle School became a Crayons to Classrooms school for the school year, meaning any Warner teacher can visit the store and obtain supplies without having to volunteer more work time. Horsley started by going to the store, earning hours and donating them to Warner teachers. Other staff members and support staff did the same thing.
“I got so many people doing it, they don’t have to work (this year),” Horsley said. “At the end of the day we want kids to have what they need to learn.”
Horsley began her Xenia school district career as a substitute bus driver, showing up before 5 a.m. to sit and wait and see if a driver was needed. She took a job as a regular bus driver for a couple years and after that spent time working in a multiple-handicapped room before moving into her current role. She was also the middle school cheerleading coach for several years.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.