Arnco-Sargent honors student mentor
by Celia Shortt
Arnco-Sargent Elementary School recently honored Victor Hanson for his 20 years of service to the school as a student mentor.
“Thank you so much for this recognition,” he said at the reception from the school honoring his service. “I didn’t realize it had been 20 years.”
Hanson was recruited to Arnco-Sargent’s volunteer program 20 years ago by his wife, Joann Hanson, who at the time was principal of Arnco-Sargent.
“He’s been here ever since and has mentored several of our students,” said Priscilla Lee, a counselor at Arnco-Sargent and head of the school’s parent-volunteer program. “He likes to start with the younger children in kindergarten and first grade and follow them to fifth grade.”
The staff at Arnco-Sargent has enjoyed working with Hanson and seeing his impact on them and the students.
“The first day of pre-planning that year (Hanson’s first year), I walked by the storage room and an adorable gentleman was in there painting and putting in shelves,” said Regina Lange, teacher at Arnco-Sargent. “He looked up at me with a huge grin on his face and said that Joann had him fixing the place up. I couldn’t help but smile, and for the last 20 years I have continued to see that same smile that was on my face on the faces of the students he mentors every time he walks in the door. There are some things in life that are priceless, and that smile is definitely worth a million words.”
“He is a positive role model (mentor) for all our students,” said Vickie Vaughn, principal of Arnco-Sargent. “He is truly dedicated to ensuring the success of our students. Success in school and life.”
Lee says a valuable part of Hanson’s work is that he has been a father figure to several of the boys at Arnco-Sargent throughout the 20 years he’s been there.
“He is that male role model that so many of the boys need but don’t have,” she said. “One thing he always asks is to be assigned to mentor a child beginning at an early age. Then he likes to stay with them through fifth grade.”
One student Hanson mentored from first grade through fifth grade was at the reception for him and able to thank him for the impact he’s had on his life.
“He’s really one of the main things that has molded me into who I am today,” said Mekhi Winkles.
Winkles is a student at Newnan High School.
Arnco-Sargent’s volunteer program is called Parents Assisting With Student Success. In whatever capacity they can, parents volunteer at the school. According to Lee, some donate materials, volunteer for events, make copies, mentor, or tutor students.
PAWSS also incorporates volunteers who come to the school and mentor the students. These mentors are trained through Coweta County School’s Mentorship Program.