“I have a very special announcement to make,” said Principal Rex Langley. “We have a back-to-back support employee of the year: Ms. Lesley!”
It is indeed the second year for Sharalyn Lesley to receive this honor at Monroe. She has worked at the school for three years, serving as a teaching assistant and parent facilitator.
“Whatever they need, I’m here for them,” she said.
That “they” refers to whole school community. Ms. Lesley jumps in to help the principal, assistant principals, teachers, students, and parents whenever she is called upon or sees an opportunity to assist.
“If a parent needs assistance with enrollment, I do that. SNAP program, I do that. If they need assistance with resources, uniforms, I do that,” she explained. “If they need a sub, I sub. If they need me in classrooms, I’m there.”
She said she loves it.
“When you wear so many hats, the day goes by so fast,” she said.
One important role she has taken on is being a comforting figure for the students. She’s always willing to lend an ear.
“We don’t know what they are encountering when they leave those doors. If they need someone to talk to or a hug, I’m here,” she said.
Many students even call her grandma. She said she isn’t sure how it got started, but it is easy to see how Ms. Lesley takes on that role in students’ lives, as she looks for ways to make them feel special. She even remembers to give them a snack from her desk’s goodie drawer on their birthday.
“It makes them enjoy their day and want to be here,” she said.
It’s not just during the school day that she’s there for the kids. She stays after school to serve as the sponsor for Academic Bowl and Ebony Bowl.
“Last year, we won first place in the Ebony Bowl. We’re in 5th place standing in Academic Bowl this year,” she said. “We have some amazing and intelligent kids. That’s exciting.”
Ms. Lesley said she has found her place at Monroe Demonstration Academy.
“I would not want to be anywhere else,” she said. “I have my niche here. This is me.”
Check out the video below to see the Monroe Support Employee of the Year announcement.