Unsung Hero: Mrs. Duska Fields
by Malachi Nunn and Lula Kidd
Mrs. Duska Fields is a special needs teacher and a coach.
Before coming to RCHS in 2009, she taught at Alexandria.
We are very pleased to have her here with us today.
When Mrs. Fields graduated high school, teaching was not what she had in mind for her future. She wanted to be a counselor. She went to college and acquired a psychology degree, but soon after, she went back for a teaching degree. Her change in career was due in large part to having a family member with a multi-handicap disorder. She helped take care of this family member, spending three years helping care for him until his passing. The situation made her realize that taking care of and helping special needs children was her calling.
She is now a multi-disability teacher. There is not a certain kind of disability she works with - she teaches and she helps all children. She also is one of the track and field/cross country coaches. She coaches these sports because she enjoys exercising and wants to share that with students.
RCHS is an ideal fit for her because she is familiar with the area and the small school environment.
When asked if she'd change anything about RCHS, she said: “There's nothing I would change. I like RCHS just the way it is.”
Mrs. Fields said her favorite thing about RCHS is the small school environment.
"I attended a big school, so the small school environment is different and more warming."
We really appreciate all that Mrs. Fields does for RCHS.
Her passion for teaching and her desire to help others is evident every single day.
Unsung Hero: Toby Stitcher
by Alexis Southerland, Malachi Nunn, and Tiffany Waters
“I have been in Randolph County my entire life.
It is my home, and I love it here.”
“I really enjoyed my high school and colleges. Some of the best friends that I have today are people that I went to school with.”
Mr. Toby Stitcher is a beloved graduate of
The Randolph County High School.
After he graduated from RCHS, Mr. Stitcher attended Southern Union before transferring to Auburn University. At AU, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education. He later attended graduate school at Jacksonville State University and obtained a master’s degree in educational administration. He has been teaching for 25 years, and we have been blessed to have him at RCHS for all of his teaching career. To this day, he still loves teaching agriscience. About RCHS, he said that he has great, supportive administration and wonderful teachers to work with each and every day.
We asked Mr. Stitcher why he started teaching, and his response was that he was greatly influenced by his high school agriculture teacher, Mr. Wayne Wortham. He said he could tell very quickly that he enjoyed what he did as the school’s Ag teacher. He told us that the hardest part of his job is the paperwork and documentation that is required by the state department for career tech teachers. Such paperwork and documentation is constantly increasing and changing, so much so that it takes away from his enjoyment of teaching. Mr. Stitcher, just like his students, would rather be in the shop working on projects than sitting at a desk in the classroom.
Mr. Stitcher loves when former students come back just to sit, talk and thank him for teaching them things that have helped them in the work field they went into. He still remembers his high school English teacher, Mrs. Evelyn Ward. She was one of the most positive influences in his life. Mr. Stitcher remembers her telling the class, “If you cannot say something good about someone, then don’t say anything at all.” Another positive role model was his high school football coach, Mr. Ron Watters. Mr. Watters instilled in him a hard work ethic and a never-quit attitude. Mr. Watters also taught him a lot about RCHS pride.
Mr. Stitcher told us that to this day, he is still proud to be a part of the RCHS family.
He is an "Unsung Hero" because he goes above and beyond the call-of-duty without much recognition at all. Anytime someone at RCHS needs something built, needs to borrow a tool, needs air in his/her tires, or needs agricultural/carpentry advice, Mr. Stitcher is an automatic go-to. He's kind, hard-working, and he's willing to help. Mr. Stitcher is a priceless asset here at RCHS, and we at The Meteor want to thank him for all he does.
Unsung Heroes: RCHS Custodians
by Gabrielle Spears, Caitlin Blackstone, Summer Hill, and Donna Wheelus
Everyday, when students first get to school, it’s always clean. The halls are swept, and the bathrooms are spotless. As the day goes by, however, the trash cans in the bathrooms get filled, trash gets left on the floor, and clothes somehow get left all over campus. Have you ever wondered who takes time out of their day to clean all of these things up? The staff members who do this are referred to as custodians, but they’re so much more than that. In an effort to shine light on how much these staff members do each day, and on how much they care about our beloved RCHS, we took time out of our own busy days to interview them. Their kind hearts and incomparable work ethic make them unsung heroes.
Coach Alan Whaley graduated from Randolph County High School in 1981 and then attended Auburn University for a degree in social work and physical education. He started working at RCHS in 2002. He starts his work day at 5:45AM. Although he is only paid to work until 11AM, coach Whaley often stays on the job until seven or eight at night. Helping teachers, helping coach the football team, and cleaning the facilities at practice locations are just a few of the extra things that coach Whaley does on a daily basis.
Mrs. Lola Mae Wright started working here part time in February of 2017. Mrs. Wright often reports to the school around 7AM in order to serve as a substitute teacher. When subbing for Mrs. Korb, Mrs. Wright leaves campus to teach Spanish at Wadley from fourth period to sixth period. After working at Wadley, she heads back here to change clothes and begin her custodial work. In addition to all of this, Mrs. Wright volunteers as a delivery driver at a local soup kitchen.
While interviewing these three amazing staff members, we made it a point to ask them if there is anything the student body could be doing in order to make their jobs a little easier. Collectively, they told us that more of the student body needs to take responsibility and pride in their school. If more students cared deeply about their campus and its appearance, RCHS would be even more beautiful than it already is. We at The Meteor can’t help but agree with them. It’s an honor to attend school here, and it would be great to see more students appreciate our campus and those that keep it safe and clean.
Our challenges to all RCHS students:
When you finish drying your hands in the restroom, make sure your paper towels find the trashcan.
If you drop a piece of trash anywhere on campus, pick it up and properly dispose of it.
Do not leave your clothing lying around campus; take ownership of it and keep it with you.
When you walk past a custodian in the hallway, take a second to tell them "thank you for all you do."
Unsung Heroes: RCHS Lunchroom Staff
by Caitlin Blackstone and Gabrielle Spears
The lunchroom staff at Randolph County High School consists of four ladies: Mrs. Peggy, Mrs. Kathy, Mrs. Sonya, and Mrs. Teresa. These four ladies are arguably the hardest workers on campus. We had the honor of interviewing them and learning more about their jobs here at RCHS.
A Day in the Life
Depending on the menu, these ladies usually get to work pretty early in the morning. Their day starts with coming into work, washing their hands, turning on the equipment, getting the food out of the cooler, and putting on their aprons. Once they’ve done these things, they start cooking. They typically finish cooking by 9AM. That's when the ladies eat their lunch. The seventh and eighth grade start coming in by 10:30. These students are done eating by 11:30, at which time the ladies start cleaning and preparing for the high school students to come in. They follow the same cleaning routine after the high school students leave. When the cleaning routine is complete, Mrs. Peggy starts on the paperwork she has to do every single day while the other ladies start cleaning and getting ready for the next day.
We asked the lunchroom staff about how much input they have when it comes
to the food they serve in the lunchroom. The ladies said that they do not have
any input on the food, and they have to make sure each meal meets the
regulations required by the government. They informed us that they
occasionally make suggestions, but their suggestions are usually disregarded
or denied. They have tried their best to meet students’ preferences, but not
everything that is asked for is possible. Students also has different tastes,
leaving the lunchroom ladies with the impossible task of meeting everyone’s
needs at once. It takes these ladies a long time to prepare for and to serve
almost 400 students, not counting additional meals for staff and visitors.
A Note From the Ladies
The lunch ladies would like to ask students to please not chew gum in the lunchroom. It may not seem very important, but they have to take time out of their day to clean gum off of walls, chairs, tables, and many other places. Additionally, they have issues concerning breakfast, meal portions, and food choices. They believe that there should be more time before homeroom for students to be able to go to breakfast. These ladies try to make every portion of food the same, but some students are required to eat more calories. Even though we have a small variety of food to choose from, it is not the lunch ladies’ choice. All four ladies would like for us to be able to have more options, such as desserts, fruits, and more desirable foods. It may seem as if they are not trying, but honestly, they try their absolute best every single day.