Education

A child had nowhere to go on a bitterly cold night. Educators kept her safe.

Lexington’s Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School Principal Peggy Henderson, (fourth from left) teacher Haley Hamm, (fifth from left) and behavior interventionist Brooke Kincheloe (sixth from left) were recognized on December 17 by members of the Fayette County Public Schools board and Superintendent Manny Caulk, far right.
Lexington’s Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School Principal Peggy Henderson, (fourth from left) teacher Haley Hamm, (fifth from left) and behavior interventionist Brooke Kincheloe (sixth from left) were recognized on December 17 by members of the Fayette County Public Schools board and Superintendent Manny Caulk, far right. Fayette County Public Schools

Some Lexington school employees recently put their lives on hold “to ensure that one of their students had a safe place to be on a bitterly cold night when she had nowhere else to go, “ Fayette district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said Monday.

On November 28, an Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School student was unable to go home after school due to an issue that district officials are keeping confidential.

Teacher Haley Hamm, principal Peggy Henderson and behavior interventionist Brooke Kincheloe jumped into action, staying at school with the child until 10:30 p.m., “and turning what could have been a scary situation into a fun night of learning,” Deffendall said.

Over the course of the additional eight hours they spent with the student, the team ordered dinner and played lots of games — especially Uno and Spot It. They worked on class projects, watched movies, snacked on Starburst and Goldfish crackers “and talked a lot,” Deffendall said.

When the student got tired around 9:30 p.m. they tucked her in a bed in the nurses office and put on a movie until she was able to leave.

The next morning, the student thanked them for the “special sleepover at school.

The three women were recognized at Monday night’s monthly school board meeting “for their passion and determination to keep this student safe and going above and beyond in the service of children, “ said Deffendall.

Henderson, the principal, said she cares for her students as if they were her own.

“I would never leave one of my own not knowing if he or she were safe,” said Henderson.

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