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An Unsung Hero…We Are Singing About

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Pictured (left to right): Angel King, Principal at Spindale Elementary, Mike Tanner, CISRC Board Vice Chair and Mentor, Amy Revis, Brenda Watson,CISRC Board Member and Mentor, Chris Fuller, CISRC Former Interim Director and Board Member.
   When the National office of Communities In Schools requested nominations for a nationwide competition underwritten by AT&T, Communities In Schools of Rutherford County immediately nominated Amy Revis. The award, “Unsung Heros” recognized site coordinators, selected from across the Communities In Schools network, who best exemplify the commitment of Communities In Schools to surround students with a community of support.  

   Revis, now in her second year as the CISRC Site Coordinator for Spindale Elementary, came on in 2009 just as our former Executive Director was leaving. It was one of those good news/bad news announcements, “You are hired but I’m leaving.” Revis, however hit the ground running, she said it was months before she realized “Site Coordinator” was a title that existed around the state and had not been created for her position.

   Though Revis was not one of the 5 chosen from around the country (we are certain she was number six), Bob Decker, Chair of the CISRC Board put it nicely,“Being our first site coordinator at our first site, much of what was done was totally up to your initiative and drive.  You set the bar high for others who will follow in your footsteps as we expand to new school sites in our county.  You are surely our Unsung Hero and we salute you.”  

The five Unsung Heroes were honored and presented with their awards at a ceremony on Capitol Hill last fall. “At the heart of the Communities In Schools model are site coordinators, who partner with principals and teachers to keep kids on track,” said Dan Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools.  “These five heroes exemplify all the Communities In Schools staff who devote their lives to helping kids overcome  challenges so that they can achieve their full potential in school and in life.”

   “We applaud the great work these site coordinators are doing to support students most at risk of not graduating,” said Laura Sanford, president of the AT&T Foundation. “Placing more support in high-needs areas and working together with schools is a key factor in helping to curb the dropout rate.”

Chris Fuller, former Interim Executive Director and CISRC Board member explained, “Amy was the very first Site Coordinator that our organization had ever hired.  On top of that, she was to be the point person for a new Backpack Food program that was to start at her school, Spindale Elementary in Spindale, NC.  As the new Interim Director, I didn’t have much time to spend supervising Amy in her role.  Fortunately, the dictionary is being revised, and under “self-starter,” a picture of Amy Revis will appear.  Although her position at Spindale Elementary is part-time, Amy maximized every minute of her time there.  She quickly became a critical asset at the school.  Amy also began using her networking skills to make the community aware of the work that CISRC was doing and to solicit assistance. The result:  Donations of money and food for the Backpack Food program and a network of volunteers to assist in her work at Spindale Elementary.”

   Angel King, Principal at Spindale Elementary told us, “Amy Revis has exceeded our highest expectations. Through Amy’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of our children, along with her tireless and conscientious efforts, our school was able to offer valuable services to our students and their families throughout the year.”

   And with the success of Amy Revis, in 2010 CISRC brought on 4 additional site coordinators and made big gains in service to our County’s students. Most of the other elementary schools and the three middle schools are now hosting backpack programs. Many of these sent their coordinators and volunteers to train with Revis. As a result of this start two years ago around 400 students receive weekend food at the close of every school week. We now have mentors in 6 elementary and two of the middle schools; but for every mentor placed by CISRC there is a request for 4 more. Perhaps you’d like to join Amy Revis and become a hero by mentoring a student.  Contact Charlotte Ware Epley at CISRC, 828-228-0228 for more information.

Submitred by: Charlotte Ware Epley- Executive Director; Communities In Schools of Rutherford County

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