People like Bryant need recognition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 3, 2002

People like Dale Bryant, a counselor at Selma High School, often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Most times, they find themselves on the unfortunate end of a problem.

Last week, Bryant was presented the prestigious Coca-Cola Education of Distinction award. She was one of just 250 teachers across the nation to receive the recognition.

What’s so special about Bryant’s award is the she didn’t fill out a sheet of paper and nominate herself. One of her children or co-teachers didn’t nominate her, either.

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Rather, a student — someone whose life Bryant really helped shape — decided his counselor deserved an award for her courage in the education field.

Most of Selma knows Ben Obomanu and the things he achieved in Selma. Monday night, Obomanu was on the field for the Auburn Tigers playing wide receiver.

People like Obomanu can’t just get by with great athletic prowess, though. They must have people who guide them through the tough parts of life. And as a teen, there is no tougher time in life than high school.

We know the faculty and staff of the Selma City School System is proud of Bryant for her work in this community. We know family members of Bryant also are glad to see her receive the award.

For those of us in the community who don’t have a personal relationship with Bryant, though, we should realize that she has made a lasting impact on at least one student. (In reality, she has probably done the same for hundreds of other teens.)

Education gets a bad rap in this town, as it does in many rural parts of Alabama. But Dale Bryant has proven that dedication to a job pays off. It doesn’t pay off so much in plaques and notice; but rather in the success young people find later in life.

We commend Bryant for her work in the Selma City School System. We hope the students at Selma High School understand what a treasure they have had over the years. And we encourage parents to get involved with their children’s schools. You may not know what a good group of people we have leading our students.