Marilyn Ezell loves working at Hawthorne Elementary, and her passion for her job has earned her place as a Support Employee of the Year finalist.
“I was shocked then excited when I found out I was a finalist. This is the third time that I have won Support Employee of the Year at Hawthorne, so I guess my passion for what I do and most importantly the students has really shown through. I don't do what I do for the recognition or the praise, I do it because it's what I love to do and because I believe that anything worth doing is worth going above and beyond,” she said.
Marilyn has worked at Hawthorne for six years. As the principal’s secretary, she strives to make students feel safe and comfortable while also supporting her coworkers by doing anything she can to help.
“I love all aspects for my job. I love that every day can be different, because working with children you never know what can happen. I love being one of the first to greet our students in the morning and seeing their bright smiling faces, and I absolutely love the hugs. I love being one of the first faces that welcome the visitors into the building,” she said. “I love assisting my principal and assistant principal, teachers, staff and students with whatever it is that is needed. I can wear a number of hats throughout the school day, on any given day and that can make for a very interesting day.”
It takes a village to raise a child, and Marilyn said Hawthorne provides that for their students.
“The family dynamic of our staff is incredible; we work together with passion and concern for our students giving them the best educational foundation that we can,” she said. “I like that there is a constant flow of volunteers that come into Hawthorne, to either help with our students reading, to donate items such as uniforms, coats, school supplies, books, or their time.”
She believes every child deserves can learn if given the chance and opportunity to do so.
“If I can help create that opportunity and make a difference in just even one child's life, then my work within the education field is not in vain,” she said.
As an alumna of Tulsa Public Schools, Marilyn remembers teachers having that impact on her life. Her mother also attended then worked for Tulsa Public Schools. She hopes to be able to give back what the district gave to her and her family.
“I remember going to work with my mom on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, and I absolutely loved it! My mom had the flexibility to always be at my school events and basketball games, and being home on breaks whenever I was and I knew then that when I had a family of my own, I wanted to do the same.”
Marilyn’s four children have all attended Tulsa Public Schools. During a typical school year, when she isn’t working, she can often be found taking her kids to and from basketball practices and cheering them on at their games. She also serves as the vice president of her church’s youth department.
Marilyn is one of five finalists for the 2019-2020 Tulsa Public Schools Support Employee of the Year. The winner will be announced later this year.