When freezing temperatures came to North Texas last December, local church groups and Melissa Schools administrators braved the cold to step in for teachers during morning carpool at Harry McKillop Elementary.
This past school year, more than 20 student and community groups have volunteered for the same task; an effort that Principal Walter Perez says positively impacts teachers and students alike.
“When you have such a response from so many groups and churches, I think it sends a very strong message that the whole village is behind the effort, and teachers feel very appreciated by that,” Perez said. “It’s a nice atmosphere and I think everybody benefits.”
Hillary Croissant, the school’s curriculum and instructional coach, plays an instrumental role in involving Melissa High School students in carpool, which often leads to an exciting start to the day for the younger Cardinals.
“Sometimes you can see the kids in the back of the car, telling their parents to pick one line or the other,” Perez added. “You see how proud they are that an older brother or sister is opening their door.”
Krissy Womack teaches third grade at Harry McKillop Elementary, and her son, Tyler, plays baseball at Melissa High School. Tyler attended McKillop for elementary school and came full circle when he volunteered for carpool this year with his team.
“Tyler used to look up to the high school baseball players opening the doors at carpool,” Womack said. “Now he is the one opening the doors for the kids.”
For other students, the excitement comes from seeing volunteer community officials dressed in uniform.
“I have a student who dreams of being a fireman someday and gets so happy to see the fireman at carpool,” Womack added.
Those student programs, organizations, and community groups that have volunteered for Harry McKillop Elementary carpool during the 2016-17 school year are listed below.
McKillop PTO Board, parents, and Watch D.O.G.S.; Melissa Schools Board members Bruce Minchey, Bill Gray, George James, and Paul Anderson; Melissa High School National Honor Society, student council, and Band; Melissa High School volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball; The Parks Church of Melissa and Melissa United Methodist Church; the City of Melissa, Melissa Police Department, Melissa Fire Department; Melissa Schools Chief of Police Officer Kelly Davidson; Texas State Police Officers; and Melissa residents who serve as police officers in other departments.