COVINGTON, Ga. - When the principal escorts you into her office to meet with the school superintendent, it can’t be good. At least, that’s what Newton High School Clerk Kanisha Belcher, thought as she made what must have felt like a very long walk with Dr. Shannon Buff to her office.
Once inside the office, which was filled with the entire Newton High School leadership team, Newton County School superintendent Samantha Fuhrey greeted Belcher and told her she was there because of something she learned the school clerk had recently done. At that point, she smiled broadly and told Belcher she was there to present her with the Superintendent’s Coin of Distinction for “going above and beyond” at work to help not only her school but also the school district.
In mid-October, the school system was preparing to release both the school-level and district ACT scores but there was a major problem. Newton High School’s scores still had not been received at the school due to a change in the delivery time for the U.S. mail. The route had changed and the postal carrier was now arriving at the school well after closing time. As a result, no one was around to receive the mail. Each day the mail was being returned to the post office for redelivery.
So while Alcovy and Eastside had their scores, the district report could not be released because of the missing Newton High School ACT scores. Upon hearing about the dilemma, Belcher decided to stay late and wait for the U.S. mail delivery the night before the national release date. As soon as she had the score packet in hand, she provided the information to Dr. Buff, who then forwarded them to the board office to be included just in time for the district news release.
“I have the greatest faculty and staff,” Buff said. “No one asked Ms. Belcher to stay and wait for the postal delivery but she heard about the problem and took it upon herself to stay after work to collect the mail. She had no idea when it would be delivered but that’s just the kind of person she is. She’s always willing to go the extra mile to help and I was thrilled to learn that Superintendent Fuhrey wanted to present her with a Coin of Distinction. She’s definitely deserving of the honor.”
Fuhrey explained to Belcher that the Coin of Distinction program is modeled on a similar program in the United States military.
“Coins are only presented to those who do something extremely special, something above and beyond the norm of what is expected,” Fuhrey said. “Ms. Belcher did just that when she stayed well after hours to wait for the mail to be delivered. Without that score report, we would have been the only district in the state to not release ACT scores on the national release day. She definitely saved the day and I wanted her to know how much we appreciated her.”