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School District Recognizes Two Individuals' Work That Touches the Lives of Children in Cumberland County

January 8, 2023  

Cumberland County Schools (CCS) recently recognized two more individuals for their consistent demonstration and commitment to CCS’ students, schools and core values — excellence, innovation, collaboration, equity, integrity and compassion.

During two separate surprise visits, Barbara McQueen, a teacher assistant at Mary McArthur Elementary School (MMES), received the December 2022 Extra Mile Award and Ann Mathis from The Bicycle Man Community Outreach was surprised with the December 2022 Committed Community Support Award.

Both award recipients will be recognized by members of the Cumberland County Board of Education during their monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 10 at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at the Educational Resource Center (ERC), located at 396 Elementary Drive/Fayetteville, NC  28301.

The Extra Mile Award is designed to acknowledge employees who demonstrate a sustained high level of performance and inspire others to do their best.01.10.23 Extra Mile Award Winner

Approximately 15 employees at MMES nominated McQueen with thoughts that her work ethic exemplifies excellence, equity, compassion, integrity and collaboration. The nominations noted that the long-time educator 'wears many hats' and serves as a teacher assistant, bus driver, school mother, nurse, doctor, etc., to the students. Each day, she is the first to arrive at school to prepare for her bus route and the last to leave after returning from her route. If she has to bring a student back from her route, she will stay with them until their parents pick them up. Also, it is not unusual to see McQueen purchase clothes and personal supplies out of her own pocket to help students and their families.

According to the nominations, even though McQueen is known around school as a disciplinarian, she is still tender-hearted and kind. The students often look to her to demonstrate behaviors she has shared with them in and out of the classroom, e.g., writing correctly in their journals and properly greeting adults and interacting with them. Students know they are meeting her expectations when she gives them a wink, a nod or a kind and reassuring word. One nomination shared that  McQueen's impact is widespread. She helps create "a loving and nurturing environment" at Mary McArthur Elementary. 

01.10.23 Committed Community Support WinnerAnn Mathis received the Committed Community Support Award, which is presented monthly to an individual or group for selflessly supporting the school system and helping students succeed.

Because of her tireless work to collect, repair, and donate bicycles for hundreds of local children each year, CCS' Executive Director of Student Support Dr. Natasha Scott  nominated Mathis, who is the wife of the late Moses Mathis aka 'Bicycle Man.' Over time, the program has grown beyond Cumberland County and has supported surrounding counties. According to Dr. Scott, since Mr. Mathis' passing in 2013, his wife has kept the program moving forward. As a matter of fact, CCS Social Workers have made hundreds of referrals to the Bicycle Man program to ensure students get 'something special under the tree.'

Mrs. Mathis, school social workers and community volunteers have collaborated to make bike giveaway day special so that each child can select the bicycle of their choice and are fitted with a helmet. "This is the last year of the program," said Dr. Scott. "Mrs. Mathis and the volunteers truly deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the students of Cumberland County Schools and the surrounding community."

Any permanent full-time or part-time employee is eligible for the Extra Mile Award. Nominations can be submitted here. To learn more about CCS’ Extra Mile Award, visit the CCS Human Resources website.

The Committed Community Support Award is for mentors, businesses, community partners, parents and volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to assist schools and help students succeed. Nominations can be submitted here

A selection committee reviews nominations on a monthly basis and selects one winner for each award. Winners are recognized during the Cumberland County Board of Education’s regular monthly meetings from September through May.