It’s a Monday afternoon at Lincoln High School, and students keep popping in to say hi to Sheila Walker, the school’s community liaison.
One student wants to show Walker his new cell phone; another student needs a tissue for his nose; a third students wants to talk about the previous weekend’s prom, which Walker helped set up for and ensure several students had dresses for the big night.
Hearing from and helping students is par for the course for Walker, who was recently named the Texas State Teacher Association’s Education Support Professional (ESP) of the Year. The award recognizes a support professional who goes above and beyond in serving their school and community.
As community liaison, Walker connects the community with the school and helps students with everything from college essays to bus passes
“This is a job that I would do even if I didn’t get paid for it,” Walker said. “My passion is to make sure all students are educated and set up for success, regardless of their background. This job is a blessing.”
While this is Walker’s first year at Lincoln High School, she has worked in Dallas ISD for 23 years. She spent most of those years at Harry Stone Montessori in various roles such as teacher assistant and elementary data controller.
At Lincoln High School, Walker registered seniors to vote and then took them to a polling location; provides homeless students at the school with food and supplies; organizes community and volunteer events at the school, and much more.
Walker said it was an honor to receive the ESP of the Year honor, but that she doesn’t do her job for the outside recognition.
“I get to connect the students and the staff with what they need, and there is no greater joy than that,” she said. “If there’s anything I can do to help, I’m happy to do it.”