Lincoln aide honor, Yoho at Job Corps Center
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.
Deloris Golston's connection with Lincoln Middle School goes back a long, long way.
Golston, a media aide who was honored Tuesday as Alachua County's School Related Employee of the Year, actually attended Lincoln when it was the high school for the community's African-American students. Her experiences there taught her the value of a good education, and it's a lesson she has worked hard to pass on during her nearly 30-year career at Lincoln.
She and 49 other nominees will be honored at the district's annual recognition special ceremony.
"She's an excellent role model for our students, helping them keep out of trouble and reminding them of the importance of education," said principal Don Lewis. "That message really resonates with students because they know that she attended Lincoln."
Encouraging students to be respectful is one of Golston's major goals.
"I'm a firm believer in teaching students to respect teachers and respect authority, because that's the way I was taught," she said.
Golston's positive influence means she is often asked by former students to keep an eye on their children and grandchildren.
"They'll say ‘You used to get on me, so I want you to watch out for my child,'" she said.
"She's always willing to motivate a child to make better choices and study harder," said Jillian Gies, a Lincoln teacher and chair of the School Advisory Council. "She's a role model to many of our students and an anchor for families."
Golston goes well beyond the scope of her formal job description.
She opens the media center early and keeps it open after school every day for students who need a safe ‘learning haven' that may not be available at home. She's in charge of the school's annual Black History Month activities. She leads the school's annual United Way campaign, consistently raising more money than any other middle school in the district.
She's also generous with her time and talents outside of school. She's active in her church and has been the primary caretaker for both younger and older relatives.
"I do it because I enjoy doing it," she said. "I enjoy helping people. I just want to give back what I've been given."
Newly elected U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., visited the Gainesville Job Corps Center recently, where he toured the facility and talked to students.
Yoho was escorted by Steven Belk, director of the center, as he visited several of the career/technical and academic classrooms. When Yoho asked several culinary arts students if they wanted to own their own restaurants, they all raised their hands. Yoho also was interested in why students chose to attend the Job Corps program.
"I feel the tour was very rewarding and beneficial for the congressman and the center," said Belk. "As a federally funded center, we want him to know taxpayer dollars are being well spent. Congressman Yoho was excited and the tour gave him a good overview of the program."
Of the 125 Job Corps centers nationwide, the Gainesville center is No. 1 in graduating students with a high school diploma/GED and career/technical certificates. Of the five centers in Florida — Gainesville, Jacksonville, St. Pete, Homestead and Miami — Gainesville is the top-performing center.
Job Corps is the largest residential, educational and job training program in the country administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Nationwide, the program trains nearly 70,000 students a year.
For more information, visit www.jobcorps.gov.
— Special to the Guardian