Sharon Gordon was flabbergasted when she walked into a room at Southern Kings Consolidated School and saw her family gathered, along with school staff and a few dignitaries.
Then the tears came as she learned she was a recipient of the PEI Home and School Federation’s Extra Mile Award.
“I didn’t know what it was. I never got (anything) like this before,” said the third-year custodian at the school on Peters Road.
Home and School president Heather Mullen spoke extensively of Ms Gordon’s impact on the school and commitment to her job. Also in attendance were Home and School executive director Shirley Smedley Jay and acting Public Schools Branch director Norbert Carpenter, along with Southern Kings principal John Van Dyke.
The Extra Mile award is for a staff member who goes above and beyond their job description and Ms Mullen said Ms Gordon does that in motivating students to reach their potential.
Ms Mullen described the custodian as a “conscientious, hard-working member” of the school staff who “actively engages in creating a loving space.”
Ms Gordon organized two holiday meals for staff, recognizing how stressful this school year has been. She decorated the school for Christmas and also helps with the school lunch program.
The Home and School president said Ms Gordon knows every student by name, always has a smile and “has a kind heart and demonstrates a strong work ethic.”
“She continually thinks of others,” Ms Mullen said, and is “a wonderful example of someone who takes her job seriously.”
Mr Carpenter said he knew Ms Gordon very well from working together at Montague Consolidated and Montague Intermediate Schools.
“What’s most redeeming about Sharon is her people skills,” he said. “No one I can think of is more deserving of this award.”
Two parents presented Ms Gordon with flowers and a binder full of photos, cards and thank you messages.
Mr Van Dyke said the staff appreciates everything she does.
“You’ve definitely breathed new life into this building.”
Ms Gordon, who is three years away from retirement, said “It really means a lot. It’s a hard job and I love my job and to know it’s appreciated (is meaningful).”
It was especially important to have her family on hand, she said.
“My family’s everything to me. Everything. If God blesses you with them, you’re a blessed person.”
Normally the award presentation is a much larger event but pandemic regulations prevented the entire student body from attending the proceedings.