When her son Matthew started pre-kindergarten at Gloverville Elementary School, Suzie Lankford started volunteering in April Klugh’s class.
Matthew has long moved on and is now a fourth-grader at the school. Lankford, however, is still in pre-kindergarten – helping out Klugh and volunteering with Gloverville’s youngest children.
“I used to babysit back in the day,” said Lankford. “When I started off, I liked to be with my son and the other kids. I really didn’t want to leave that age group.”
“Miss Suzie,” as the faculty calls her, has been donating her time ever since Matthew began school, said principal Michelle Padgett.
“For the past two years,” Padgett said, “Miss Suzie has been standing at our pre-K wing as the morning duty person. She makes sure those children are safe, and if they’re tardy, she’ll bring them to the office. Miss Suzie is so diligent about the job. If she’s not going to be here, she’ll call in to the office.”
In the afternoon, Lankford visits Klugh’s class, helping with crafts, occasional parties and anything else.
“I just like to help, although Mrs. Klugh really doesn’t need it,” Lankford said with a laugh.
Yet “Miss Suzie” also helps the 4-K kids get ready to go home, Padgett said – assisting them in getting their bookbags packed before going to the car line.
“When pre-K has special events, such as with the grandparents, Miss Suzie will help then too. In my first couple of years as principal, I didn’t even realize that she didn’t have a child in that class.”
Now Lankford is hoping she can get a position as a substitute in the future. She has taken eligibility classes, learning about rules and classroom requirements.
“I’m excited about that,” Miss Suzie said. “I enjoy being around the school. Mrs. Padgett does a great job and so do the teachers.”