The 212 degree award is an award that recognizes employees who go above and beyond their duties. Water is hot at 211 degrees, but at 212 degrees water turns to steam which is powerful enough to move a locomotive. This year head monitor Lester Banks and science teacher Colleen Holmes were two of ten district employees recognized with this honor by superintendent Tommy Wallis.
“Both Mr. Banks and Mrs. Holmes go beyond their daily duties,” Wallis said. “They are both individuals that put service before self and both do so much extra for the students at BHS.”
Principal Lane Buban agrees that Banks and Holmes are two of the most hard working people in the school district and that they deserve this award.
“Mr. Banks gives a lot to not only Bryan High School, but to the school district and the community,” Buban said. “He works at other campuses, he helps around the district, he gives up all of his free time to help schools and to help kids, and he’s always wanting to go above and beyond when it involves a student or a kid who needs extra help.”
Just like Banks, Holmes spends much of her free time doing things to help other people.
“Every time there’s a need for kids on this campus Mrs. Holmes volunteers her time,” Buban said. “She has done that throughout the 20 plus years she’s been here. She’s given a lot to the school and a lot to kids. It doesn’t matter when it is, it doesn’t matter if it’s on the weekends, after school, or before school, she is always willing to help.”
Many educators are characterized as being selfless and Holmes and Banks are no exception as every facet of their life revolves around giving back to others.
“I feel very honored and I feel very humbled to receive this award. I’m glad I could help others,” Holmes said. “I just do. My purpose in life is serving others, and if I can help anyone, then that’s what I want to do. That’s what I am commanded to do by God to help him serve others.”
Banks views his job as a way to help others but has difficulty accepting recognition and awards for doing what he loves.
“I’m not about receiving any awards or anything,” Lester said. “I’m about making sure that kids and students understand that they have somebody here to care for them. I do what I do, because I’ve had people do it for me. I was able to get free education, and one of my biggest dreams and goals was to come back to the community and give back. I want people to look up to me as a role model and as a person that they can count on if they ever need help.”
In a district with many employees, it is a testimate to the quality of teachers at BHS with two employees receiving such a prestigous award.
“I could make a long list of things that they do, but it’s just too much,” Buban said. “Out of all the people that have received this award, I think they are probably the most deserving.”