A Cold Springs Elementary art teacher and a School Resource Officer were the two recipients of the Cullman County School Board’s e5 Exceptional Service Award during Thursday night’s board meeting.

The e5 Award, given each month to teachers, students, volunteers or anyone on a school campus who goes above and beyond in their day-to-day actions, was awarded to Cold Springs Elementary art teacher Kathryn Baggett and Good Hope Schools School Resource Officer Lt. Doug Duke by Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette.

Barnette, who was reading from Duke’s nomination form from Good Hope Elementary teacher Sara Kirkpatrick, said Duke is extremely dedicated to the students on Good Hope’s campus and can always be seen high-fiving students or helping with personal goals like learning to tie their shoes, as well as checking doors and hallways to make sure the students are safe in their classrooms. 

“His presence is felt by all Good Hope students and teachers,” the nomination form said. “Lt. Duke is an exemplary member of Cullman County Schools. He’s not only our SRO, he’s our hero.”

Baggett was nominated by Cold Springs Elementary Principal Vicky Johnson, who said Baggett volunteers her time to teach art classes to students at the school, and is always willing to help out with all areas of the school, including the band, drama productions and in the library. 

“Two things are evident: Kathryn Baggett is passionate about her children and she is passionate about art,” Johnson said in her nomination. “And combining her passions, Cold Springs students benefit tremendously.”

Barnette said he has spent a lot of time out in the county’s communities in recent weeks, and is always sure to tell everyone that the system has come as far as it has because of people like Duke and Baggett who step up for their schools. 

“That’s what makes our school system great,” he said.

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