The eighth annual Martin Luther King Day of Service event hosted by the S. Delois Mayes Fellowship Foundation will recognize two Suffolk public school teachers for their dedication, especially during the pandemic.
Each year, the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation presents the Community Leadership Award at its annual fundraising event. This year, the recipients are Claudette Pierre and Violene Sharpe.
Pierre is a special education teacher at John Yeates Middle School with 20 years of teaching under his belt. She was appointed by Sabrina Turner, her school’s guidance counselor. The candidacy was presented to the board of directors along with the many others before being chosen.
“I have no words,” said Pierre. “I am totally shocked and impressed that someone recognized what I was doing. It’s wonderful to know that my work is seen beyond the four walls of the school.
Last school year, Pierre taught his students both virtually and in person. Due to her work with students with intellectual disabilities and autism, it was important for her to keep a consistent schedule. So for a year, everyone felt upset and a little lost, Pierre helped his students adjust to their new routine and, according to her, “they were soldiers”.
Pierre also thanked the parents for their help during this time, as many were on the virtual learning calls to help students stay engaged and stay on course in their work.
Other services she has rendered to students has included teaching at SPS Saturday School Academy for students in need of additional academic support due to closures during the pandemic. She also helped a French speaking student learn English.
“Everything I do is what I’m supposed to do and what I have to do,” Pierre said.
Sharpe is a math teacher at Lakeland High School with over 20 years of experience. It not only helps students to be successful in the classroom, but also outside.
“I don’t consider anything that I do to be extraordinary,” said Sharpe. “I sincerely consider this part of my job. “
Wanting to see his students succeed academically, Sharpe helps with college visits and community volunteer efforts, and provides tutoring for those in need of extra help.
Additionally, Sharpe strives to see students succeed outside of school. She supports her students in their extracurricular activities and programs. Sharpe attends plays, sporting events and more to support students. She has also worked with the youth of the East End Baptist Church for over 20 years.
“I try to be available to be there for my students and support the programs they attend,” said Sharpe. “It’s part of what I do, not more. “
These women will receive their awards at the eighth annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, which will take place virtually at 10 a.m. on January 17. The keynote speaker will be the new Commonwealth of Suffolk Prosecutor Narendra Pleas.
This is a fundraising event for the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation, which annually offers scholarships to seniors in Suffolk Public Schools. To learn more, donate, or watch the live stream, visit sdmscholarshipfoundation.com.