HOUSTON – April 16, 2019 – The latest Spring ISD employee to receive the Employee Excellence Award from the Board of Trustees was surprised Tuesday morning at Meyer Elementary School.
Miesche Thompson, a classroom paraprofessional who joined the staff at Meyer in 2017, thought she was headed into a special education eligibility review meeting and had no idea the trustees and administrators gathered in the school’s lobby were there to present her with the final award for the 2018-19 school year.
“I’ve really never gotten anything like this,” Thompson said, “so it’ll be nice for me to put in my room, just a reminder why I’m here.”
In presenting Thompson with the award, Spring ISD Board of Trustees President Rhonda Newhouse focused on the many little ways Thompson shows her school spirit each day and goes the extra mile to serve students – from helping arrange tie-dye shirts for a cultural celebration, to reaching out to the Colgate “Bright Smiles, Bright Futures” program to obtain free toothbrushes and educational materials to share with her classroom.
“You did this to ensure that the scholars got a foundation for success with oral health education,” Newhouse said. “This is definitely going above and beyond what is required, and the board is very appreciative.”
Newhouse was joined for the ceremony by fellow board members Donald Davis, Justine Durant and Dr. Deborah Jensen, together with Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson and Chief Human Resources Officer Deeone McKeithan. Like the previous employee excellence award recipients, Thompson was given a framed certificate and a Spring ISD recognition pin during the presentation, along with a check for $100. She will also go on to join the other 2018-19 winners at the district’s annual Employee Recognition Banquet next month, where she will be up for a chance to win a $1,000 grand prize.
In presenting the award, Newhouse went on to recount Thompson’s involvement in women’s ministry at her church, as well as her work with the Koala Kare afterschool program at Meyer, which has allowed Thompson to meet a need while strengthening ties between the district and the families it serves.
“You help build a rapport with the parents in our community,” Newhouse said, a sentiment that was echoed in comments made by Meyer Principal C’ne Dawkins.
“I think she’s most deserving,” Dawkins said after the ceremony. “She is a dedicated employee, and when I talk about dedication, it’s not just to the scholars in her class – it’s however she can help the campus. I really do appreciate her and the services that she provides to all stakeholders. She is definitely committed to the work.”
Thompson has spent most of the past school year without a car, and one way she has showed her commitment has been walking each morning with her two daughters – who both currently attend Meyer – to catch the Houston METRO bus that will bring the three of them to the campus.
“We have to walk a mile every morning,” Thompson said, recounting how their early morning commute had been a character-building exercise for her and her children, one of whom is still in kindergarten. “My baby will be like, ‘My legs hurt!’ And I’m like, ‘We can’t miss the bus. We’ve got to catch the bus.’”
Inspired in no small part by her daughters, Thompson is no stranger to tackling challenges and working toward goals – even long-delayed ones. Hearing her older daughter praying one night a few years ago before an upcoming test, Thompson realized that she could set an example for her children by going back and finishing the work needed to receive her own high school diploma – something she had put off for more than a decade. Earning that diploma – which she did in 2017 – opened up the door to her current profession, and to a new life with her family in Houston.
“When I got it, I cried,” Thompson recalled. “My daughter said, ‘Mom, why are you crying?’ And I was like, ‘Girl, let me tell you the struggle I had getting it.’ So she knows now. It’s next to my bed. It’s an everyday reminder.”
Asked what else she might tackle now that she has her diploma in hand, Thompson mentioned going back to school to earn a college degree, but said that, for now, she’s enjoying her role at Meyer and the day-to-day work of raising her daughters.
“I feel like now, anything I want to do, I can do it,” she said. “There’s no limit now, that’s what I feel like. Because I used to feel like not having my diploma was holding me back from doing a lot of things. Now I feel like there isn’t an excuse, or anything to stop me.”