They stand in line, 10 deep, in front of her desk. Teens and parents waiting, waiting, waiting for the necessary forms and information to enroll, earn credits and receive a diploma from high school.
Even though the tension is thick in the small reception area of the high school counseling center, where visitors often outnumber available chairs, the voice that addresses each person is kind and consistent.
Cheryl Holt has been using her helping spirit and calm manner to benefit our school district for 25 years.
“Cheryl can be on her wireless headset taking an irate call, while making copies of registration paperwork, lookup, make a hand signal to students to stay patient who are surrounding her desk, and moments later, all will be calm,” high school counselor David Moore said.
“It amazes me no matter how many times I see it, and I have seen it thousands of times. I have been working in education for over 20 years, and I have never known someone who has to deal with so much, all at once, who can unfailingly handle it with grace and professionalism and humor. She is the backbone of our campus, and we would be lost without her.”
Cheryl has worked several different jobs for Midlothian ISD. She started in 1988 at Jenkins Elementary as a PE aide and continued to serve as an assistant in special education, PE and computer classrooms at the Baxter, L.A. Mills, Long Branch, and Mountain Peak campuses.
Cheryl said her favorite memory of working in the district “is seeing my elementary students grow and then graduate high school.”
The most rewarding part of her job is helping others. “Every day is a challenge,” she said, smiling. “Some more than others.”
“She truly has a gift of being able to handle many situations simultaneously, making for a smooth, consistent operation in the high school counseling office,” assistant high school principal Steve Hammons said. “ Cheryl’s ability to greet the public and work with them and her commitment to helping others really goes a long way in creating an environment at MHS in which meeting the needs of our students, parents, and staff are a priority.”
Each spring, a mammoth event occurs in the Midlothian multi-purpose stadium involving the entire high school faculty, band, choir and hundreds of students and their families. Graduation is our community’s Super Bowl, as important to us as a football championship.
Guess who is integral in the organizing this tremendous event? Yes, the soft-spoken kind blonde in the counseling office is a whiz with organizing caps, gowns, diplomas and the seating of hundreds of nervous 18-year olds, even in a windy or sweltering hot outdoor venue.
“It is a joy to work graduation,” Holt said, “and see the kids faces when they cross the stage.”
“It is not just that Cheryl can multi-task, work hard and stay calm through all the adversity of this job in the counseling department, but that she can do everyone’s job! Principals and teachers call her when they need something, so she is great for all departments,” longtime associate principal Kelly Johnson said. “She has been doing this for so long that she knows everyone and can relate to any phase of the school system and get it across to any community member as if we were all one big happy family. Cheryl is great in her job because she cares and people see that she cares and respects others and that is whether they are having a difficult process with certain school functions or if they are just needing a small detail to be assisted with, Cheryl will help them.”
In fact everyone in this school knows where to go if you need something. . . Cheryl.
Susie Casstevens serves as the librarian for the AH Meadows Public and High School Library. Contact Susie at 972-775-3417 ext 1061 or visit the web at library.midlothian-isd.net