A lifetime volunteer
Freeman spends her days helping HIS teachers
To the outsider’s eye, Carol Freeman might just look like a busy teacher or substitute, but to Hartselle Intermediate School teachers she is an “angel.”
“She has been spending her days volunteering since her grandson, who is now a junior, was in kindergarten at Crestline,” said fifth grade reading teacher Shane Owens. “She is so wonderful coming up here and helping us out so much every day. She is just an angel.”
Freeman said she started helping out at Crestline as a homeroom helper for her grandson, Hunter Freeman’s class.
“I knew his teacher could use some help, and I didn’t work, so I wanted to help out,” Freeman said. “It beats sitting at home all day, and hopefully it benefits the kids some. I really enjoyed working up at the school, so I kept helping in each grade Hunter was in.”
Freeman eventually stayed with the fifth grade teachers at Crestline, helping them with copies, classroom decorations and more even after Hunter moved up to the sixth grade.
“I realized that age doesn’t have as many parent volunteers anymore,” Freeman said. “Each teacher had multiple classes to prepare for and there was so much for me to help with. I also decided Hunter might not want his grandmother up at school with him anymore, so I stayed at Crestline.”
Owens said all of the teachers hoped the intermediate school would allow her to continue to volunteer when the system restructured.
“She had been such a blessing to all of us, especially the fifth grade teachers,” Owens said. “We were all bothered about the move, wondering if she would be able to come with us when we merged. The Hartselle Intermediate School has welcomed her with open arms, though.”
Freeman said her volunteer duties range from running copies, laminating, cutting out necessary things, watching students for short periods, helping sell snacks during snack time, counting the money collected and anything else the teachers need. She became a certified substitute teacher and now subs several times a month. HIS even made sure she had a spot to call her own to keep all her supplies up at school.
“The teachers are just like my own kids now,” Freeman said. “All the students and teachers are family to me, and I would do anything I could do for them. I also wouldn’t hesitate to call any of the teachers for help, because I know they would do the same.”
Many students fondly call Freeman “Granny” and have only high praise for her.
“She is the true MVP of the school,” said HIS sixth grader Mason Cox.
“Years ago when I had to be out of school for a month and was hospitalized, she was amazing,” Owens said. “She kept my class going, and it was such a help. She has only helped more since then. She even takes stuff home to work on for us when we are behind. She is a very very special lady.”
Freeman said she truly enjoys getting to work at HIS.
“I learn something new every day,” Freeman said. “I love getting to sit in the classrooms and listen to them teach something I never learned in school. The kids are just wonderful. I’m not the kind of person who can just sit and do nothing or just watch TV, so it really makes me happy to help out here.”