INDIANAPOLIS - A Perry Township woman who always puts children first has been chosen to receive this month's prestigious Jefferson Award for giving back to her community.
The students who meet with Sheryl Wise to go over school announcements are polite, well-behaved and they enjoy being around her -- but the feeling is mutual.
"I love what I do, I love kids… and I believe the kids, they're our future," Wise said.
In her role as student support manager at Winchester Village Elementary School, Wise teaches the students about honesty, integrity and perseverance -- among other positive traits.
"And each month we have a character trait. I go in each classroom and I talk about the particular character trait," Wise said.
Wise is also a licensed social worker and has worked at the Perry Township school for the past four years.
"Oh, they love her. I mean it's very exciting to see the number of students who want to work with her," Principal Doug Smith said.
It’s not just what Wise is doing at her school that is drawing praise, it’s also for the annual Back-to-School Carnival Celebration that she has coordinated every year since she founded it in 1999.
"We started because of Columbine 16 years ago. Kids killing kids, and research says if parents participate in a child's educational process, kids will do better in school and on tests," Wise said.
"When it comes down to it, what does she get out of it? She gets the knowledge knowing that she's helped kids, she's helped families get needed resources, and that's all she's ever asked for from that. So it's nice to see her being recognized for all of her hard work," Smith said.
Wise received her well-deserved recognition in front of her students as they prepared to take on ISTEP tests.
"Thank you so much, I really appreciate this. And kids, you already know, I got this because of you," Wise said.
Click here to nominate a volunteer for a Jefferson Award -- http://bit.ly/1bB8Cmg