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School employees honored for work during winter storm

7:05 PM, Feb 4, 2014   |    comments
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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Teachers are back in classrooms this week, but there's a different kind of lesson everyone can learn from the staff at Westlake High School.

School staff members were put to the test when last week's winter storm trapped hundreds of students overnight.

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On Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal honored the school workers who kept children safe during the storm.

"You did an admirable job and I think it's altogether appropriate that you be commended," Deal said.

Teachers like Chantrice Sims Holliman staffed school phones for 17 hours straight.

"The hard part was hearing the angst in a lot of the parents' voices," Holliman said. "Some of them were in tears because their children's phone battery had died and they weren't able to contact them, so we just tried to be a source of comfort for them."

Cafeteria manager Henry Smith walked back to school to cook up 800 dinners and 450 breakfasts for stranded students.

"It was kind of rewarding to be able to come and provide that service for the kids. I know they were under a lot of stress," Smith said.

The Georgia Federation of Teachers is out this week with donuts, coffee and other honors for school workers and bus drivers who went beyond the call of duty during last week's night to remember.

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