BESs Elliott named ‘Secretary of the Year’
Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Shirley Elliott got a big surprise last week at the Council for Leaders (CLAS) event held in Huntsville.
The Brewton Elementary School secretary was named Secretary of the Year for the State School Board District 1.
Brewton Elementary Principal Barry Wood said the award was well-deserved by Elliott.
“We are so grateful for all that she does each and every day for our school and our children, most of which no one ever knows or sees, which to me, makes her all the more deserving,” Wood said. “We were somehow able to keep it a secret and surprise her in Huntsville.”
Wood said Elliott has had an impact on students and faculty at the school throughout her time at Brewton Elementary School.
“Her strong faith, pleasant demeanor, witty humor, and tremendous work ethic have provided her the skills to be recognized as a leader in our school community,” Wood said. “Now in her 19th year with BES, she has had the opportunity to ‘coach’ a number of principals, a job to which she has excelled as she welcomed me four years ago. Mrs. Shirley exemplifies the spirit of servant leadership in her role. As a devout Christian, she relies heavily on her faith to guide her in applying that servitude to everyone in need at BES. Her compassion for children and their families is unwavering as she works tirelessly to connect needy students to the resources they need, be it collaborating with local food pantries or clothing closets for jackets or shoes. As an accomplished seamstress, it’s not uncommon for her to find a moment to repair a torn shirt or dress for an upset child. She would say, “I’m just a helper” and I would wholeheartedly agree, but it’s the degree and manner to which she helps that sets her apart from others.”
Wood went on to say that Elliott expects a lot from herself in her position at the school.
“Mrs. Shirley demands a lot from herself and that pressure results in an exemplary faculty member who strongly believes in accountability for all,” Wood said. “She rarely misses a day and her timeliness is just one of her many good qualities. Her deliverables to the central office are always on time and completed impeccably well. She holds our staff to the same high standards and we each know we are the better for it.”
Wood goes on to explain that Elliott’s outlook on life continues to make an impact on those around her.
“There simply is only one Shirley Elliott, as she says, ‘fearfully and wonderfully made by a kind and gracious God.’ She has been a tremendous asset to me as I entered into the role of principal in a school, not knowing a single staff member,” Wood said. “Her patience and professionalism as she negotiates the office management of a demanding community is above reproach. We have been a successful school, rewarded by others and the community, and her efforts are part of that success. She is a helper, she says, ‘as God intended her to be,’ and her kindness and caring for children is evident every day. A recent example being when a teacher sent in pictures for October birthdays, the child had only a plain white t-shirt for the digital bulletin board. Mrs. Shirley knew that would not represent the child well and quietly, yet deliberately ensured that the child retook his picture. While not a huge school issue, it made all the difference to that child and that makes all the difference at BES.”