Position: Teacher's Aide / Bus Driver
School: Arnett Public Schools
School District: Arnett Public Schools
City, State: Arnett, OK
Music that Describes Kristi
Kristi Haney was nominated by her colleague, Nicki Gaisford.
Arnett Public Schools had the good fortune of hiring Kristi Haney four years ago as a teacher's aide for the special education teacher. Since that time, Ms. Haney has also served as an aide for the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms, as a suburban route driver, and as a bus route driver. In addition, she is the representative for the International Exchange Student Program for her area, and she works as a janitor for her church.
“Kristi is the hardest worker I know," said Amy Miller, a colleague. "She is so kind, and I do not think the word ‘no’ is even in her vocabulary. If I ask her for help with anything, she immediately replies ‘of course!’ During our planning period, she goes and finds things to do and people to help. She is kind, giving, and a very special person!”
“Kristi will work above and beyond what she is asked to do," said Frankie Sharp, the special education director. "She is always positive, never negative, and never complains about a job. Most people have their bad days, but not Kristi. She is amazing, and we are so blessed and happy to have her at our school.”
Ms. Haney is married with three children of her own, but she has such a kind heart and love for all kids that she always has "extras" with her. She goes out of her way so many times to make sure kids get to go do things.
“She always makes sure my grandson gets everything he needs at school and helps him get everything on and off the bus," said Kathy Phillips, the grandparent of a student. "He had never gone anywhere with a stranger before, but Kristi took him under her wing the very first day of school, and he went with her and walked into the cafeteria...I can't say enough good things about her. She always goes out of her way for him. When I saw her in the grocery store the other day, she left her stuff and walked out to the car just to say hello to him.”
Ms. Haney recently welcomed an exchange student into her home. This student had to be removed from another situation because she had nowhere else to go. There have been several children who have come to school with torn up shoes and holes in them, but they have gone home with a brand-new pair because of Ms. Haney's giving nature. She also buys special treasures and incentives for the students she works with to encourage good behavior. She never turns away an opportunity to help a child, and the kids love her.
"Kristi is a LifeChanger because of her amazing ability to do every job with a smile, her love for all kids, and her positive example for all whom are fortunate enough to be around her," said Gaisford. "Throughout my most stressful times these past four years, I have always been able to count on Kristi to step up and ask what she can do to help. Sometimes it's making copies to cutting things out, reading with students, working with the whole class so I can get caught up on something else, sitting with a child who needs extra help paying attention, or following a difficult class wherever they go just in case the teacher needs assistance. She willingly gives up her free time without being asked simply because she loves our students, wants to see them succeed, and wants to help the teachers be the best they can be for our students."
“Kristi Haney is a positive influence in the lives of everyone she touches," said her superintendent, Tracy Kincannon. "Her work ethic and infectious personality never ceases to amaze those who know her.”