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Two Wilson County Schools employees recently received recognition for their work here.
Annette Thomas has been named the 2017 Central Region School Social Worker of the Year through the North Carolina Social Work Association.
“I was excited. What an honor,” Thomas said. “That is the biggest accomplishment. You can’t ask for anything more.”
Thomas, a Wilson native, has been with Wilson County Schools for 16 years.
She started in 2001 as an office assistant at Beddingfield High School. She later worked in human resources while earning her bachelor’s degree in social work from Barton College in 2011.
Thomas started in 2012 as a social worker.
“We collaborate with a lot of community resources. We try to prevent drop out. We work with the homeless families as lot. We work on attendance issues. We try to keep our kids in school. We provide basic needs, such as toilet paper, tissue, hygiene products that families are in need of,” Thomas said. “We collaborate with our teachers and our principals to make sure that our students are receiving the best services.”
Thomas says it is very rewarding work.
“It’s service to others. That’s my thing,” Thomas said. “The main reason I became a social worker is being able to provide a service to other people. With giving back, you receive. It fulfills me. It makes me happy.”
Thomas said the desire to help really started at Beddingfield High School.
“I found that there were a lot of kids that were without,” Thomas said. “I started keeping change in my desk. I started bringing T-shirts to school so they wouldn’t have to be sent home for improper clothing. I got involved with the seniors. From there, I said I wanted to do this at a bigger scale.”
Thomas has nine schools that she is responsible for including Darden Middle School, Lee Woodard Elementary School, Speight Middle School, Stantonsburg Elementary School, Beddingfield High School, Wilson Academy of Applied Technology, Daniels Leaning Center, Winstead Elementary School and Barnes Elementary School.
Wilson County Schools has two other social workers, Karen Morton and Tammie Yates.
The award, Thomas said, is “for all of us.”
“It means everything that we’re doing is paying off and that’s what we want,” Thomas said.