LEE COUNTY — At its regular meeting on Feb. 13, the Lee County Schools Board of Education recognized the system’s Teachers of the Year, as well as paid tribute to a hero.
Athletic trainer Kerri Reeves was honored by Sheriff Jay Jones and the board for her actions during a recent incident at Smiths Station High School, when she stepped in front of a student as a human shield when another student brought a gun on campus.
“It was a textbook example of one individual placing someone else above themselves,” said Jones. “If there is a more noble act that can be performed, then I know not of it. On behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, we want to join the school board in recognizing Kerri Reeves, who we believe prevented a loss of life, more importantly, the life of a student,” he said. “In the public safety community, that is something we hold in the highest regard.”
Reeves received a standing ovation. Both Jones and Superintendent Mike Howard presented her with plaques, and School Board President Ralph Henderson presented her with a flower arrangement.
Lee County Teachers of the Year were recognized, including: Jada Swader, Beulah Elementary; Kenni Newman, East Elementary; Dawn Brown, Loachapoka Elementary; Hope Cobb, South Elementary; Lori McGonegle, Wacoochee Elementary; Joni Jones, Sanford Middle; Wesley Byrd, Smiths Station Junior High; Natalie Wade, Smith Station Freshman Center; Bryan Eason of Smiths Station High School; Clint Cobb of Beulah High School, Ni’Yai Davis, Loachapoka High School; Elementary Teacher of the Year Amy Hess of Beauregard Elementary; and Secondary Teacher of the Year John Hillsman of Beauregard High School.
In other business, the board accepted a bid to renovate and make improvements to the Smiths Station Junior High School auditorium.
The board also adopted a new, condensed mission statement: “To prepare students to reach their full potential.”
The next Lee County School Board meeting is scheduled for March 12 at 6 p.m.