Pinckney Elementary’s Abby George Selected as A.C.E. Award Recipient by Lawrence Schools Foundation

October 18, 2018

Students hold signs in support of Abby George Abby George, the Parent Involvement Facilitator at Pinckney Elementary School, was named one of two inaugural A.C.E. Award recipients by the Lawrence Schools Foundation Thursday morning. Shannon Jones of Sunset Hill was recognized Wednesday.

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.

George, who has been in her role since 2016 and according to the numerous number of recommendation letters on her behalf, is the “backbone of the school.” As the Parent Involvement Facilitator, her job is to work with parents and others to help children succeed at the school and she goes above and beyond.

“Many of our families come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and many of our students have been exposed to multiple forms of trauma,” wrote Amanda Painter-Ingham, a special education teacher at Pinckney. “Mrs. George has been instrumental in helping families access financial and emotional support, along with parenting classes, daily living resources and child protection support. Her caring and empathetic approach with all students creates a safe and loving environment for learning.”

Abby George and her family. “Abby has the people skills, sense of humor, calmness, efficiency, positive attitude, organizational ability, patience, and kindness that is necessary to be effective at Pinckney, a school community with such high needs,” wrote Sally Ryan. “She makes people feel good about themselves and about the school and no one could ask more of her.”

George doesn’t just take care of the students and parents, but makes a point to encourage staff all the time with notes, e-mails and shout outs during morning announcements. She lines a hallway of the school with cards promoting positive messages.

“She is supportive, caring and funny,” wrote Kristi Hill, Pinckney principal. “She takes time very week to do something to lift up the staff with her notes, funny stories and kind words.”

“Her wit and humor shines like a beacon and can change the course of someone’s day for the better,” wrote art teacher, Jacob Lewis.

“I have a lot of thank yous and hugs to get out today,” George said after the presentation. “I feel very blessed. This is my dream job to be here.”

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.

Principal Hill, Dena Johnston and Abby George Abby George with students