Position: School Security Officer
School: Arthur A. Libby Elementary and Middle School
School District: Chicago Public Schools
City, State: Chicago, IL
Music that Describes Nika
Nika Mailey was nominated by her assistant principal, Tamesha Carter.
When you think about a school security officer, the first words that come to mind aren't always kind, caring, consistent, flexible, or committed, but that's exactly who Ms. Mailey is. Ms. Mailey greets students every day with a warm smile, a good morning, and a positive affirmation for the day. Students and parents alike look for that morning ray of sunshine. She has an infectious spirit that can be felt throughout the building. Students from PreK-8 know if they need anything, they can ask Ms. Mailey and she will assist. Students have needed everything from a listening ear to a reality check, and she is able to give each student exactly what they need in that moment.
Ms. Mailey doesn't stop with being there to support the students. While the principal was out on an emergency leave, Ms. Mailey stepped in to support the school in unimaginable ways. She trained staff on how to complete health screeners for students, organized entry and dismissal points, answered phones, and did home visits. Most importantly, she showed up every single day and showed that she cared about what was happening at Libby. During this unprecedented year, where student attendance has been such a struggle, Ms. Mailey came up with ideas and assisted in monitoring attendance efforts. She taught parents and students how to access the remote learning platforms. She has also assisted staff members with student-based projects on the weekends.
"Ms. Mailey has impacted our school in so many ways. Even with all of her contributions, she remains the same approachable, committed, and reliable person that she has always been," said Carter. "The students, staff, and parents of Arthur A. Libby Elementary and Middle School would like to salute Ms. Mailey, our personal LifeChanger!"