Campbellsville Elementary School Guidance Counselor Sonya Orberson received the Change Award at the Campbellsville Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 11.
Campbellsville Independent Schools Superintendent Kirby Smith honors three Change Award winners each month, including a certified and classified employee and a community member.
Orberson received the certified Change Award for the month of May, but was unable to attend the Board meeting that month.
The awards are given based upon six elements, which spell the word Eagles. They include Encouraging and exhibiting Attitudes of Greatness, while Leading with high Expectations to Success.
CES Principal Elisha Rhodes nominated Orberson for the honor.
Orberson has worked at CES since 1990, and retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
In a letter nominating Orberson for the award, Rhodes wrote that she has devoted her love, time and energy into serving the students and parents of CES.
“ … Working to fulfill their needs academically, emotionally and physically,” Rhodes wrote.
“Throughout her time at CES, Mrs. Orberson has spent hours outside of school praying over the success and safety of her ‘kiddos,’ and, throughout the day, she has done whatever it takes to make sure CES was the best it could be.”
Rhodes wrote that Orberson has not only served as a guidance counselor, she has also been a teacher, space camp and Jump Rope for Heart sponsor and so much more.
“But she has served as the hands and feet of Jesus and worked to meet the needs of all whom she has come in contact with,” Rhodes wrote.
“Her ministries, such as Operation Christmas Child, have blessed thousands throughout the year and that doesn’t touch the families she has reached out to provide for financially or grocery shop for to get through the weekend.”
As a parent of two elementary children, Rhodes wrote, Orberson has been there for her children in times that she could not.
“I’ll never forget when our family went through a tragic accident and I had to be away for weeks. Mrs. Orberson took time to love on Tye and let me know daily that he was doing OK.
“As the principal at the middle school, I had to be at school early on the first day each year, which made it hard to send my crying kindergartener to school and not be mom there walking him in. However, Mrs. Orberson was there to not only love on Braxton his first day of school, but she went out of her way to send me photos during the day of his smile to ease my anxieties.
“These are just two examples of many I could share as a mom, and when you talk to other moms, without a doubt, there are multiple stories to be told.”
As a colleague, Rhodes wrote, Orberson has made her first year at CES one that has sailed very smoothly.
“She has been there to give me insight to the way things roll as well as give me words of encouragement and support when I needed it.
“Simply stated, she is the engine behind the train, and we simply wouldn’t be moving forward the way we have without her.”
Smith said Orberson has a long history with CIS and a lot of knowledge about education.
“I wish you the best and we’ll miss you. But don’t be a stranger,” he said.
Orberson thanked Board members for the award, and the 28 years she spent with the District.
“I’ve spent over half my life in this District,” she said. “Just have loved every minute of it.”
Orberson said God has blessed her and placed her at this District.
“And I know that it will continue and that is the place that you want your children.”
Board Chair Pat Hall said Orberson has typically worked behind the scenes and isn’t one to want attention for her work.
“But on behalf of our District, thank you very, very much,” Hall said. “And we hope that whatever your next step is in life, it will be as rewarding as we can tell the last 28 years have been.”
Orberson is married to Johnny Orberson, and they have two children, Becca Orberson and John Orberson, who will be a sophomore at Campbellsville High School in the fall.
Campbellsville Independent Schools Superintendent Kirby Smith, at right, honors CES Guidance Counselor Sonya Orberson with the certified Change Award.