Sunset Hill Custodian Named First A.C.E. Award Recipient by Lawrence Schools Foundation

October 17, 2018

Students hold up signs for Shannon Jones. Sunset Hill Elementary custodian Shannon Jones has been named one of two inaugural A.C.E. Award recipients by the Lawrence Schools Foundation it was announced Wednesday morning. A second honoree will be named Thursday morning.

The A.C.E. Award (Acknowledging Classified Employees) recognizes classified employees whose efforts benefit students, faculty, staff and others outside the USD 497 community. Two more classified employees will be rewarded in the spring. The award winners receive $500 thanks to an anonymous donor to the Foundation.

Jones has served at Sunset Hill since 2015 after working as a sub when the school was stationed at East Heights during Sunset Hill’s remodeling. She was presented the award and check in a surprise gathering in the cafeteria in front of the entire school. Her mother, brother, husband and two children were also in attendance.

“I have never had anything like this ever, ever before,” Jones said in between a constant stream of kids hugging her afterwards. “I feel appreciated every day, but I am shocked. I do work hard, but it makes you feel real good inside.”

Shannon Jones reacts to finding out she received the A.C.E. Award. “Shannon has never pointed out what her duties are, or rejected any requests for help,” Sunset Hill Principal Jeremy Philipp wrote in a nomination letter. “She comes in during the most extreme conditions to make sure we are safe and able to do our jobs without a second thought. She understands that we are all at Sunset Hill for the good of our students and she will do anything she can to help anyone further this goal.”

Philipp said Jones volunteered to be part of a reward system for the students who are in a drawing to spend time with a staff member. He said the bucket for students’ requests to be with her is overflowing.

“This shows that not only is she willing to do her job of keeping our school immaculate, but she also has a deeply vested interest in our students as people,” Philipp said. “The amount of Eagle Bucks in her bucket is a testimony to the value our students see in her as a vital member of our community.”

Philipp wrote more about her attitude.

“Shannon’s laughter and happy spirit is infectious,” he wrote. “(If you are) around her for more than five minutes, you will find yourself smiling, laughing and wrapped with the love of a great person. We are so fortunate to have Shannon as part of our Sunset Hill family.”

“Sunset Hill is definitely my second family,” Jones said. “I love it here and the people here and the kids are great. They make you feel very appreciated here. The kids love you and I love all these kids. I am their second mom.”

Classified staff members are nominated for the award by students, faculty, classified or administrative staff. The recipient should exhibit personal service to others through USD 497 affiliations and initiatives and to his/her community, organizations, etc…; exhibit exemplary job performance; maintain a positive attitude, be dependable, conscientious and caring; work easily with others; and motivate others.

Jones with her husband, mother and brother. Superintendent Dr. Lewis with Shannon Jones