September 10, 2018
Kathy Galloway, District Office Administrative Secretary for Facilities and Maintenance, was honored at a Retirement Party for her on Sept. 20. Family, friends and colleagues came to bid farewell to “one of the kindest ladies I’ve ever met,” said Superintendent Bobby Pearce as he and the School Board presented her with a WCSB retirement plaque.
“That is almost 41 years of service with a positive attitude towards our children and adults,” added Pearce. “She is one of the calmest, most helpful people I know.”
Since 1977, Galloway has worked for Wakulla schools as a substitute teacher, a one-on-one student assistant, a teacher’s assistant, and is now completing her 27th year of working as the Administrative Secretary
to Randy Bristol, Director of Facilities and Maintenance for the entire school system.
“I have learned so much in this job and enjoyed the diversity of working with people from all walks of facilities and maintenance. I’ve worked with contractors, architects, salespeople, engineers, you name it. Starting my career working with children, I never dreamed I would come to love this world of helping to maintain a good environment for children to learn in. Some days even now I miss working directly with students.”
“And I have loved working with every school in the district. I know all the foremen, custodians, principals and assistant principals and tried to understand that whatever problem they needed solved, it was a priority to them to keep their students and faculties happy. You can’t teach in 90 degree weather if your air conditioning goes out.”
Says Bristol, “Kathy has been a dedicated employee and an asset to the school system. I appreciated her commitment to this office and to the school system as a whole. I could always rely on her to be responsible for maintaining this office with integrity. She is well-respected by her peers and everyone enjoys working with her. You won’t find anyone who can say a negative word about her because she sincerely loves our employees and our school system.”
In turn, Galloway says, “Mr. Bristol has always made me feel like an important part of the team. The huge scope of work that falls into the facilities and maintenance category is on his shoulders every day, but he keeps calm, problem solves, and prepares for future needs 5, 10, 15 years down the road.”
A product of Wakulla schools, Galloway attended Crawfordville High School for grades 1 through 9 and graduated from Wakulla High School attending grades 10 through 12.
“I began substituting when my children started school so I could still be at home when they were, as well as be involved with their activities at school. Then I was hired to be a one-on-one assistant for a blind kindergarten student, which was a wonderful experience,” says Galloway.
“This led to being asked to work one-on-one with a middle school student. After this, I worked in an ESE (Exceptional Student Education) classroom and later moved to Crawfordville Elementary to work with students and help their teachers in the classroom for emotionally handicapped children. Next I was hired as secretary for the Facilities and Maintenance Department.”
Galloway has been married to husband Lin for 48 years. They had three children, suffering through the tragedies of losing daughter Leigh and then son Darren, a twin to Ralph, who resides in Kentucky. The light in her eyes shines brighter on mention of her children and grandchildren.
Friend and colleague Rhonda Stevens noted, “Kathy is amazing to be able to keep an open, loving heart. You can see how much she loves to take care of ‘her people’ as she calls those who work in facilities and maintenance at each school. She takes care of all of us at the District Office too. The kind, compassionate person she is to me is the same as how she is to everyone. There is no falseness about her, only love for others.”
“Her service to the children and adults of our school system has not gone unnoticed,” stated Superintendent Pearce. “In April, her peers voted her Employee of the Month. She is one of those people who can tell if you are having a bad day, and she gives encouragement and hugs. She has been a great example of how to treat people, all the while getting her work done on time and done well. We will miss her but wish her joy in retirement.”