HOMETOWN HERO LOLETIA HICKS

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SMITHS GROVE, Ky. (WBKO) -- "When I grow up I want to be a teacher," said Ajayla, a student at North Warren Elementary.

Another student, Brooks said, "I would like to be a baseball player."

Student Hampton claimed, "I would like to be a writer, either for books or for movies."

Whether you wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, or even a princess when you were growing up, there was one person there to help support you to achieve that dream, your guidance counselor.

"An elementary school counselor is kind of the jack of all trades. They cover everything from academics, well supporting kids academically, supporting kids socially and emotionally, helping them explore their future. So we are supporting the kids, supporting the teachers as they are supporting kids," according to the recently retired Guidance Counselor of North Warren Elementary, Loletia Hicks.

These students at North Warren had a special counselor who was there for more than just a paycheck.

The Family Resource Coordinator at North Warren, Ben Kirtley, said, "They knew they could count on her. If they were upset about something, they knew she always had an ear to listen. If they needed something, she was going to make sure they had it or she'd find the person or persons who could get them what they needed."

Mrs. Hicks claimed, "In the elementary years their development from the time they are in preschool or kindergarten, you see so much growth within them. You spend so much more time with them, more so than the middle school or high school would. You are with them more time and you are seeing their development. You get so invested in them that it is special."

"She had helped me through a lot this year like a lot this year. I am really sad that she left but she's like a really good leader to our school and she has high expectations but she wants kids to do better," said Ajayla.

Brooks stated, "She's helped me a lot. She's helped with problems and drama."

"Mrs. Hicks is one of the most influential people that I have met in my life time and she is one off the most comforting people that I have ever talked to and she will not be forgotten at this school," claimed Hampton.

Mrs. Hicks was not only highly invested in her students but she was dedicated to her team at North Warren.

Her former colleague, Sara Cumming, stated, "She was just involved with so many things in this school. People just don't realize how much a guidance counselor does. Not only seeing all the students every week or two and having small groups, she was also in charge of a lot of other committees and like I said she worked with me in the special education program and the school assessment. She was just involved in everything."

Her involvement within her school, community and her love for her students so that they have bright futures is why we would like to Honor Mrs. Loletia Hicks as this weeks Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero.

Mrs. Hicks stated, "That's the ultimate goal for any teacher is their love and excitement to see you."

"We love you Mrs. Hicks," the students said in unison.