Good Neighbor Awards: Three educators most certainly worth their weights in gold

Cathy and Helen Warwick from the first of March of thsi year.

MARSHALL, TEXAS: It was the summer of 2014 to 2015, and school was about to start. It was my first term as the educator reporter for The Marshall News Messenger. One of my first duties was to get to know the schools and who better to show me the schools then Helen Warwick – then president of the Marshall Independent School District (Marshall ISD or MISD).

She arrived to take me on what we would jokingly call ‘The Three Hour Tour.’ I met everyone I needed to know and then some, and had a great chance to see each one of the schools – since then there have been numerous changes with the school system – including new school buildings, new principals, new staff and such.

During this trip, I met a host of people who would become the most influential and best people I would ever meet there. Helen being a primary one, as well as Angela Fitpatrick and Sandi Parks, but I have written about them already.

As part of our efforts to put out some positive news especially during this crazy time we are in – coronavirus outbreak that has led to school cancellations, business closings temporarily and people getting sick and dying and supplies of things we need getting low, we have come up with ‘The Murph Good Neighbor Awards.”

Suellen Swank was a teacher, and still is, with the Marshall Junior High School. Her genre covers technology and creativity with technology. Her passion in teaching is helping others become better versions of themselves by showing them ways to use technology to their advantage. We realized we had common interests – a love of our families and dogs. She had a dog named Toby, and so did I. Her support of her friends and family centered around Suellen’s servant heart – putting together goody baskets or cooking meals or going out to eat. From her I learned courage to step out of my comfort zone.

David Weaver put together the marketing concepts for the school system. As a former journalist, and someone who has the calling of God put on him for sharing God’s message, David, who is a husband and a dad, is just a good dude all around. We had many conversations where wisdom was shared, and David’s wisdom for me came when I had to learn to ‘navigate’ the school system and the community to find the right stories to share. His primary goal is to protect his people – the students, administration, faculty and staff, and he does it well. David’s sense of humor is dry and is the kind that makes you think.

Cathy Marshall is the type of woman you want as your mother or mother-in-law. Fiercely loyal to “her people” and the school district, Cathy was a former educator and administrator, and a board member.
A wife, mother and grandmother, when Cathy spoke, and I am sure this still applies today, people listened. Cathy’s character spoke volumes then, and even now. Her willingness to roll her sleeves up and work alongside those in the trenches always impressed me.

Suellen, David and Mrs. Cathy are not the types to want to be out front, but their jobs sometimes have them doing that. What you see is what you get for them no matter what though.

This is why they get to be our first folks to be named to the “Good Neighbor Hall of Fame.”

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Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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