Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their community needs them the most. 

Here are two stories of public employees in service to their community.

A Treat for Moms on Mother’s Day from the Union Police by Kathy Cryan. This past Mother’s Day, Union Police took time away from their regular duties to help celebrate the mothers in their community and make them feel special by treating them to Dunkin Donuts. Sgt. Dorothy Mascidlo-Skiper said, “We want to engage with the community and do something special with our residents.  Today we wanted to help moms start off their special day with a cup of coffee, a treat, and a rose.” The Union Police officers practice community-oriented policies, including a full-time community policing unit developed to enhance the relationship between the police force and the city residents. 

Your impact will be felt for generations’: Music teacher who brought strings program to Farmington schools honored for 40-year career by Ted Glanzer. Betty Kenyon, a music teacher at Noah Wallace Elementary, is retiring after 40 dedicated years of service to students in Farmington, Connecticut. Kenyon is not only recognized for bringing the string program to Farmington  Public schools–which she started in the early 1980s, but also many other traditions that still continue today. Many of her students still talk about the impression her class has had on them and their love for music. One of Kenyon’s former students–now a high school senior, Jessica DiTommaso said, “ It all began with our impressionable elementary years in music class with Mrs. Kenyon. While it has been so long since we have been at Noah Wallace School, I looked through the fourth-grade yearbook the other day seeing the statements of my fellow classmates who are also seniors. On the first page of the names and pictures, the word ‘chorus’ was on the list of nearly all of the students’ memories.” Kenyon said that what she enjoyed most about teaching her students is “working with kids and working with kids who have challenges in life and making sure they feel connected with someone they trusted and find ways to make them feel relaxed and enjoy music. That really touches people on all different levels.” Kenyon not only advocates her students inside the classroom, but also outside the classroom. Leslie Imse, music department chair for the district, said, “she’s someone who is all-encompassing in her influence on our program but also education in general. She is often seen speaking at BOE meetings in town. She’s a real advocate for all children and all programming.” While Betty’s work and dedication to children is greatly recognized and admired, she also inspires and mentors her peer music teachers. Union School music teacher Inga Smith said, “Betty’s been such an inspiration to me seeing how she teaches, how she works with other adults. Her passion, her drive is so amazing and inspiring.”

Be sure to check back the week after next for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!