Patrick Smiley - Someone To Look Up To
This week's Pay it Forward takes us to East Ridge Elementary School.
That's where a longtime worker is more than employee - he's a role model.
Susan Kite is the school librarian and she can hardly wait to recognize Patrick Smiley.
Patrick is the main custodian, and while his duty is to keep the campus clean, what he does for the students reaches far beyond school walls.
Susan says, "This just isn't his job. This is like, his calling. I mean, he knows every kid's name. He can talk to them. He makes them feel good. He'll give them a pat on the back. He'll hug them."
"In the thirty years that I've done this, been a librarian, he is the most caring person I have ever met."
Susan and I count out the Pay it Forward cash and set out to find Patrick in the cafeteria.
Children pack the lunch room as he walks out to a big surprise.
Susan holds out five $100 bills and say, "Mr. Patrick, on behalf of McMahan Law Firm and Channel 9 News I want to Pay it Forward."
Smiling, she tells him, "Patrick, you do anything for anybody. You make everyone feel wonderful. We all love you and we just wanted to show that appreciation."
He hugs her and says, "Thank you."
Patrick has been a school fixture, mentor, and friend to all since its doors opened in 2010.
"I just like to come to work and do good deeds and I love all these kids and the staff."
Many of the students who have no where else to turn look to Mr. Patrick for guidance.
"A lot of them, you know, don't have somebody to talk to at home. They like to come and let off a lot of energy and conversate."
His advice to the more than 1,000 kids he knows ALL by name... "Just get a good learning you know and listen to the teacher at all times."
Finally, Patrick Smiley shares his secret for that famous grin.
"Well, that's my last name, so I just like to, you know, keep a smile going then and brighten up a kid's day."
Patrick's work doesn't stop after school.
He's also a father of four young boys and is a volunteer youth coach.
Monday, April 20 2015, 06:44 PM EDT