‘Mr. Mike’ gets a Gold Star

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Benton Middle School custodian receives November’s award from Bossier Parish Schools

Submitted by Sonja Bailes

Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Parish Schools

When Mike Arrington is needed, he will be there. He doesn’t wait to be asked for help, either. “Mr. Mike,” the Benton Middle School custodian, is just intuitive like that.

Whether it is mowing or cleaning, doing laundry or assisting on the sidelines during Benton Middle’s football and basketball games, Arrington seems to be everywhere and always exuding Tiger Pride. His attitude is one that has endeared him to administrators and students alike and why he is Bossier Schools’ Gold Star winner for November.

Initially, Arrington did not know what to think when a gym full of students yelled “surprise” as he entered and he was awarded a plaque and cookie cake by representatives of Bossier Federal Credit Union, which sponsors the Gold Star program.

“Like I said, we have to give the glory to God for whatever we do and try to live that,” Arrington said. “We love our kids and want to see them excel. Tiger Pride, as Mr. (Kyle) Machen says, are not just words. We live it.”

Ann Butler, Head Custodian at Benton Middle, said Arrington has been a godsend since being hired four years ago.

“He’s one of the first to be here and the last to leave,” she said.

One of the many singing Arrington’s praises is Assistant Principal Debbie Gegg, who nominated him for the Gold Star award.

“Mike helps in all areas of the school in addition to his regular duties,” Gegg’s nominate letter read. “He has an amazing bond with the coaches. Very recently, Mike was very sick, took a couple days off, but still came to mow the lawn at school. He is amazing!”

Colleague Wade Brooks also sang his praises, writing “Mike goes above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. He not only completes his daily tasks as our main grounds keeper and gym custodian, he also helps with football, basketball, softball, track and any sport offered at our school. It is not uncommon to see Mike mow the field, clean the gym, start a load of clothes, help give out food for a football game, and then be on the sidelines to help in any way. This is after he stocked the concession stand for the game.”

“I enjoy being with them on the sidelines, helping out and doing whatever,” Arrington said after hearing what his Tiger family had to say about him. “If I can take something off someone by helping so they can do something else they need to do, that’s why I’m here.”

“Mike truly embodies what it means to have Tiger Pride and a servant’s heart,” Principal Kyle Machen added. “He goes beyond his duties, giving his nights to basketball and serving as Assistant Coach during football season. It’s not unusual to see him at school on weekends mowing, because of the rainy season. He has our lawn looking like the fairways at Augusta. This is well deserved.”

Arrington feels blessed to be a part of the Bossier Schools family and that goes both ways. Congratulations to “Mr. Mike” for being selected as our latest Gold Star.

Know an exemplary Bossier Schools employee who deserves recognition? Nominations are being received now for December’s Gold Star winner. The deadline for entries is December 5. Just go to www.bossierschools.org and click on the gold star icon on the home page.