Clarinda Whitson

Position: Guidance Counselor School: West View Elementary School

School District: Washington County Schools

City, State: Limestone, Tennessee

About the Nominee: Clarinda Whitson was nominated by her principal, Patton Gamble.

Ms. Whitson noticed that some of the students at West View Elementary School needed haircuts. This past year, she arranged for one of the school's bus drivers to take a dozen students to the local high school. The high school has a cosmetology program to teach students how to cut and style hair, which is exactly what they did for these West View students. The self-esteem that these returning students exhibited was amazing. They carried and conducted themselves like never before. Something so simple made a tremendous impact in their daily lives. Ms. Whitson arranged to do this two times during the school year with different students.

This summer, she set up a back-to-school bash to give out classroom supplies and backpacks to every student the Sunday before school started for the 2016-17 year. There were games, rides and other activities for the kids to enjoy. Ms. Whitson arranged for two parents who are hairdressers to give haircuts to the students again. These ladies worked for three straight hours helping to get the students off to a great start this school year. It's easy to take this simple act for granted, but this way, families with several children won't have to spend lots of money to have their children's hair cut.

Compassionate educators see and fill needs that benefit student success. Ms. Whitson has demonstrated her caring spirit in a meaningful way. Her actions are changing lives in the West View Elementary School community!

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