When it comes to making sure an elementary school runs smoothly from the classroom to the cafeteria to the playground, teacher Leslee Bickford can sum up building aide Lisa Eggleston’s role in just a few words: “We could not do what we do without her.”
“She is willing to pitch in and do anything to help out and keep the school day flowing,” adds principal Carrie Mauro. And that really does mean just about anything!
Mrs. Eggleston has a variety of different jobs during the day at Jackson Heights elementary school. “I work directly with the students in the classrooms, cafeteria, and at recess,” she says. “I am involved with all school-wide events from testing to parties.”
In just one recent example, she helped kindergarten students make place mats for their upcoming Thanksgiving Breakfast. This involved painting each child’s palm to look like a turkey, helping them stamp their hand print onto a mat, and then add details to make individualized place mats. “She is keeping track of the kids who were absent and is making sure that every child has a homemade place mat,” says Mrs. Bickford. “Each child gets a few minutes to chat with her, and they all enjoy their one-on-one time with Mrs. Eggleston. She cares about all our students. Lisa uses humor, patience and a great deal of organization to help children succeed. The kids love her!”
“I think the children quickly learn to trust me,” Mrs. Eggleston says. “I watch them grow throughout the grades. I get to know them very well and learn techniques by watching the teachers I work with. I work with children who come to school in September not knowing a single letter or sound and by working with them daily, by June they are readers!”
Mrs. Eggleston has also become a go-to resource when things don’t go exactly as planned. On bad-weather days, she helps organize indoor recess, so students can have fun inside and get their minds ready for more learning. She helps get games, puzzles, and activities set up, and also helps organize and play big group games with the students. “She is always thinking of them and trying to make their experiences as positive as possible,” says Mrs. Bickford.
As she has watched education evolve over her career, she works to adapt to the needs of students and teachers. “The Common Core challenges both the teachers and the children,” she says. “I'm always keeping my eyes open for ideas that work. I get a lot of great ideas from the wonderful teachers I work with.”
“She is a very hard worker who gives her all every day,” says Mrs. Mauro. “Jackson Heights is very lucky to have Mrs. Eggleston on our staff!”
Mrs. Eggleston has worked at Jackson Heights for seven years, having grown up locally and graduating from Greater Glens Falls Christian Academy. When not at work, she enjoys bowling with her husband and family, and keeping up with her daughter’s busy schedule as a seventh-grader at Glens Falls Middle School.
“I love working with children,” Mrs. Eggleston says. “I love their great big smiles and hugs!”