Columbia recognizes Marsh as Staff Member of the Year
MADISON – Suzanne Marsh was named Staff Member of the Year at Columbia Elementary School … an honor that she does not take lightly.
“At Columbia, we all work together with the same goals in mind — educating and enriching all the children’s lives,” Marsh said. “The expectation of receiving such an award is overwhelming, but I’ll do my best to make my family and school proud.”
She works with students in in-school suspension (ISS).
Most of her day, Marsh supports teachers with students who are having a difficult day. “I listen to them, give them some ‘tough love,’ try not to judge them and give them encouragement to help them make it through the day while completing their assignments,” she said.
In 1996, she started volunteering in Madison schools, then served on PTA boards several years, was a substitute teacher and finally was hired at Columbia when it opened in 2004.
“An education has always played an important role in our children’s lives. Over the years, so many teachers and employees have touched our children’s lives in such a positive way,” she said.
For Marsh, her job’s most rewarding and challenging angles are the same. “We all make mistakes. How we learn from them is what makes the difference in the person we become,” she said.
Marsh always will remember an elementary teacher, “Ms. Jennings. She was a wonderful lady that supported us daily in all aspects of our school life and beyond,” Marsh said. “I hope along the way I have been ‘someone’s Ms. Jennings.'”
If students aren’t in suspension, Marsh helps out “from the office to cafeteria. I’m rather on the short side, so Dauriel Holman, one of our custodians, fashioned a push broom just for me to use in the cafeteria. The handle is just my size.”
She and her husband have lived in Madison since 1989. Their daughter Leah graduated from the University of Alabama and works at Huntsville Hospital’s pediatric emergency room. Their son Alex is studying medicine at UA.