Thank you, Mr. Bill Johnson!

Warsaw Community Schools is filled with staff members who love enriching the lives of others by serving students and their families. Below is an example of one such staff member:

"The day before school started we attended the open house at Washington Elementary so that my son, Sam, could see his new school and classroom. My son is new this year to the school. Although he was excited to start at Washington, he was pretty nervous. He was coming from a smaller school and was afraid he was going to miss his friends. Sam has a history of having a bit of a hard time with new processes and loud environments so my husband and I were trying to prepare him as best we could.

After some prodding, we arrived at the open house. When my son saw all of the cars in the lot and people coming in and out he didn't want to go into the school. We finally got him out of the car and up the steps. This in and of itself was a major achievement.

Upon opening the door, a gentleman who was working in the hallway smiled and said hello to Sam. He must have recognized right away how nervous he was and struck up a conversation with him. He said, "Well Sam, you must be new here. You are going to love it! Do you like to go to the lakes? There are waders and fishing poles up in the hallway." He asked, "Who is your teacher?" Sam replied, "Miss Slone." Upon hearing that, his face lit up and he said, "You got the BEST teacher this school has! How did you get so lucky? You are going to have so much fun this year." He continued with a great big smile and going on and on as to how great the school was and how much fun he was going to have.

Sam started to ask where he would go for before school care and where his classroom was. Mr. Johnson patiently answered all of his questions and told him there was always someone around to help him find his way if he wasn't sure where to go. Before long, we were on our way to see Miss Slone. After setting up his desk and meeting Miss Slone, we walked around to see each of his rooms and where he would go for music and gym. We kept running into the kind man that we had met at the beginning of our night. He kept talking to Sam about what a great time he was going to have at Washington. He helped us find other places in the school and made sure Sam knew where everything was.

Finally, I asked him what his name was, and he replied, "Mr. Johnson." He is the custodian at the school.

Mr. Johnson probably doesn't know how much he helped my son that evening. He made the transition for Sam a positive experience just by being genuinely kind and enthusiastic. I believe oftentimes that children can "read" adults. Sam knew right away that what he was being told was true, and Mr. Johnson really did believe what he was telling him.

Although every single person we have encountered at Washington thus far has been so helpful and kind, Mr. Johnson just shines. He is definitely there because he is passionate about the school and the children that go there.

THANK YOU, Mr. Johnson. You may not know it, but you made a huge difference for Sam!

This thank you was submitted by Mary Ann Slough, mother of Sam. Do you have a story to tell to thank a WCS employee? Click here to share!

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