During Tuesday’s meeting of the Dawson County Board of Education, board members took time to recognize and thank Because Coffee owner Doug Cole and the system’s school resource officers for each of the county’s schools.
The board recognized Cole as a Partner in Education for his work with the school’s Community Based Instruction (CBI) program, which helps students in the school’s exceptional children program learn work skills out in the field. Through his partnership with the school system, Cole is able to give jobs to several of these CBI students, and he partners with the school in many other ways too.
“New teacher orientation he provides all the coffee, so the first impression a new teacher gets in Dawson is his coffee that morning,” Assistant Superintendent of Operations Hershel Bennett said during the meeting. “He’s a business partner with our special ed program, so our CBI kids have jobs through his business. We have Tiger Blend coffee that we receive part of the proceeds from, so just a tremendous amount as well as many donations to our special ed program.”
In addition to the board and school administrators recognizing Cole for his hard work, local financial advisor Alexandria Williams of Modern Woodmen of America was also in attendance at the meeting and presented Cole with a Hometown Hero award through Modern Woodmen.
“A Hometown Hero with Modern Woodmen’s definitions is someone who typically doesn’t get recognized but does a whole lot in the community,” Williams said. “[Superintendent Nicole LeCave] reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to recognize Doug as a Hometown Hero through Modern Woodmen and I said I could not think of someone better to give this award to.”
As the recipient of the Hometown Hero award, Cole will get to pick a local nonprofit or organization to receive $100 on his behalf through Modern Woodmen. He also received balloons and an award recognizing his accomplishment.
“I’m honored to be here tonight to give you this award and to honor you because you do so much for so many different areas,” Williams said to Cole as she presented him with the award. “The school system, other local nonprofits — and we’re just so thankful to have you and the coffee shop and have you as a partner in so many ways.”
In addition to recognizing Cole, the board also took a moment to recognize the seven student resource officers (SROs) that work each day in the schools throughout the district.
“We are very fortunate here in Dawson County to be able to provide an SRO in each of our buildings; we appreciate the amount of collaboration that they fulfill in teaching with us and helping us to learn to serve our students and protect our students,” Superintendent Nicole LeCave said.
Through collaboration with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Department, each school in the district has its own SRO, and according to Bennett these officers go above and beyond when it comes to their positions in the school system.
"We would like to thank you all for your dedication and your support of our students; you go way beyond making our kids feel safe, you build relationships with them and we’re very appreciative of that,” Bennett said to the SROs during the meeting. “We see it every time we walk into school and any time there’s an issue or a non-issue.”
SRO Lt. Mitch Taylor introduced each of the SROs at the meeting, thanking them for their hard work and thanking the school system for making the collaboration with the county so easy.
“We’d like to thank you on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office for the partnership that we have in the county and the partnership with the Board of Education and letting our people be in your building keeping your kids safe and keeping your employees, teachers, faculty, staff and everybody safe,” Taylor said.