On Thursday, February 5th, the Heath Student Council “Pride Patrol” celebrated a Hawk from its own “nest.”
Pride Patrol Senior Ambassadors Mackenzie Long, Ryan McKay, Bailey Varner, and Kenzie Woessner, along with sponsor Leah Voth, Associate Principal Lisa Behne, Assistant Principal D. Lynn Ward and his secretary Terry Welch, and Principal’s Secretary Penny Hartnett organized a surprise celebration of Daytime Custodial Supervisor Carmen Quintero.
Welch and Hartnett helped Voth to pre-arrange a time slot so that Quintero’s co-workers and supervisor would be on hand for the festivities. The cheering, clapping entourage entered the cafeteria and headed directly toward the honoree, who said, “NOT me?!?” In her humble way, it took a moment for her to realize that the pomp and circumstance was, indeed, for her.
“It was such a great honor to recognize our own Heath Hawk. To see how much the award meant to Carmen makes me realize that what we are doing is perfect for our community,” Woessner said.
The nomination, submitted by Penny Hartnett, reads as follows:
Carmen is one of the most selfless, and often least recognized, staff members at Rockwall-Heath High School. She comes to work with a great attitude each day, although her job at times demands that she perform “unsavory tasks,” such as cleaning up “protein spills” and picking up trash after each lunch period. In spite of this, Carmen always has a ready smile for others as she moves around the vast campus and wastes no time in completing the spontaneous and unpredictable duties that are sent her way. Carmen also possesses a great sense of humor and emanates a spirit of kindness and compassion. She is a true asset to RHHS and serves as a leader in her areas of influence.
Carmen received a bouquet of flowers, a bundt cake, a “Pride Patrol” t-shirt, “Heath” candy bars, and framed prints of the nominations.
“I have worked closely with Carmen since I came to Heath High School in 2007. One of my duties as secretary is facilities and the maintenance of it. Carmen makes my job so much easier with her quick response to any situation that might come up during the workday and even in the evenings when she is still here on duty. She is such a joy to work with and I count myself very fortunate to also call her friend. I have expressed to her quite often my appreciation of all that she does for me and our campus, but when I was notified by Leah Voth that the Student Council Pride Patrol wanted to recognize her I couldn’t be happier knowing that others see her as irreplaceable as I do. Carmen is more than a co-worker to me, she and I have become very close friends,” Welch said.
“It was awesome to see how much the award meant to Carmen! She had tears in her eyes as we acknowledged how much she is truly appreciated at RHHS!” Varner said.
“It was a great experience to be a part of. Seeing people get recognized for their hard work is something truly special,” McKay, a first-time participant of “Pride Patrol,” said.
In addition to the initial nomination, AP Ward, who oversees all facility needs for the campus and works closely with Quintero in this capacity wrote,
Carmen Quintero embodies all the qualities expected of all HAWKS. She HONORS us daily in how she shows pride in our campus. She expects to be held ACCOUNTABLE to get things done right. Her WORK ETHIC is unmatchable. She is KNOWLEDGEABLE about what needs to happen and how to make sure things are done right. Her SIGNIFICANCE is felt every day. Every staff member and student is certainly proud and honored to have her on our campus and to call her friend.
“We have been challenged by our campus administration to make an impact both globally, on a district level, and locally, at a campus level, this year. Pride Patrol is one way that we are bringing the kids’ visions to reality. We instituted both a “Student of the Week” concept, which we unveil weekly, and this faculty/staff concept. It has been thrilling to visit the other campuses, but making a positive impact within our own school is especially meaningful. These kids have really impressed me by developing the right priorities and perspectives and by seeking after the concept of others before self. I am truly blessed to work and interact with them each day,” Voth said.
“It was such an honor to present the nomination to Carmen and it was really touching to see how emotional we all got. She definitely goes unnoticed for all the hard work she does. Unfortunately, it’s behind the scenes, so not everyone can recognize how much she does for our campus. I’m happy to say I was a part of bringing her the recognition she deserves! We love Carmen and value her presence here at Heath!” StuCo President Mackenzie Long said.