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story.lead_photo.caption MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER Folsom Elementary paraprofessional Marie Easterling displays some of the exuberance that made her recipient of the Sam's Furniture Above & Beyond award for January. The award was presented during the Jan. 22 school board meeting.

By Mark Humphrey


FARMINGTON -- Folsom Elementary paraprofessional Marie Easterling was presented with the Above & Beyond award by Joe Donaldson of Sam's Furniture in recognition of the daily encouragement she imparts to students. The presentation occurred earlier this year during a Farmington School Board meeting.

The Above & Beyond Awards are presented each month during the school year by the Education Committee of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. According to the chamber's website, thanks to corporate sponsors like Sam's Furniture, they get the opportunity to recognize teachers in Washington County school districts that are going above and beyond to teach future leaders.

Donaldson cited Shannon Cantrell, Principal at Folsom Elementary, who wrote, "I believe this is going to be Mrs. Easterling's last year working in the school district. She will be irreplaceable!"

Easterling, who is retiring this year, has worked for the Farmington School District for over 28 years and has been in public education 32 years. She has served as a teacher's aide in several schools in Farmington with the last 10 years at Folsom.

Cantrell made no bones about expressing appreciation for Easterling's exuberance.

"Marie is an energetic, fun-loving encourager,....just really one of a kind!"

"She opens the cafeteria every morning and greats all of our students that eat breakfast with a loving smile," Cantrell said.

One of the many-faceted ways Easterling helps students with her personalized "hands-on" approach is to work with students who need extra help in reading.

"Our students love Mrs. Easterling," Cantrell said. "She is passionate about helping them succeed. Several times a year she will come into my office to visit about a student she is really worried about. If a student isn't making progress, she takes it personal and seeks out new ways to help them."

In the afternoons, Easterling fulfills the important role of car rider dismissal.

"She knows all of the families' names and greats them with a warm welcome," Cantrell said. "Every year I have several people stop me to tell me how kind she is to them and our families at Folsom."

"I'm just very excited and elated just being me to be happy for the kids," Easterling said.

"That's a good thing to be," said Bryan Law, Farmington superintendent of schools.

General News on 05/16/2018

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