TAYLOR ELEMENTARY Principal Jackie Smith was honored last Friday at the school in Jacksonville with a Patriot Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) in recognition of extraordinary support of her employee serving in the United States Navy Reserve.
According to Richard Green, Arkansas ESGR, “The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who, like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.
Ms. Smith was nominated by her employee, Petty Officer First Class Kirk Williams, a teacher at Taylor Elementary who is assigned to the Naval Support Activity, Bahrain. In the award nomination Petty Officer Williams stated:
“Before I was deployed, I was teaching eighth-grade English and Special Education on the secondary level. When I returned to my school district, I was relocated to another school. The principal accepted me with open arms. Unfortunately, I came back injured and my husband became ill to the point that I was unable to teach for almost two months. Mrs. Smith was concerned about not only my situation, but my husband’s well being. I completed the school year, learned skills that extended my teaching abilities and recognized the humanity in a person who saw me as a human first and a member of the military second. Having taught for 28 years, I appreciated the thoughtfulness, caring and concern that was offered by my principal, Jackie Smith at Taylor Elementary in the Pulaski County Special School District. Her dedication to duty is not overlooked nor forgotten.”