“We have been working on this for a while. The second book is called ‘Snickers Takes a Leap of Faith,” and it’s about a dog,” supervisor for elementary education Sheena Newman said.
The greatest surprise was for longtime school partner Jackie Evans.
Evans made a donation to fund the printing of the book.
“You guys were partners before it was cool to be partner,” Principal Angela Lawson said of the Evans family.
To honor his contribution and what he has done for local education, author Newman and illustrator Hollye Kile, Evans’ niece, made him a character in the book.
“Our little one [youngest granddaughter] Emma will be leaving in a couple, three years, but it is our intention to continue to serve the school as long as we are able,” Evans said.
Evans had been told he was going to an awards ceremony for his granddaughter, Emma. Even his wife, Jean, had no idea. Kile and Evans’ daughter, Rhonda Korn, were the only family members who were in on the surprise.
“We’re really here to celebrate you, Mr. Evans,” Newman said. “Mr. Evans has donated thousands of dollars for the books in your library. He has put mulch on the playground... [supported] celebrations and dinners for teachers.”
Evans has also become a partner with Park View Elementary School.
“Mr. Evans, we certainly appreciate you and your service to Bradley County Schools and the outstanding support that you provide,” BCS director Johnny McDaniel said.
Another surprise was for student Sebastian Morris. The student’s nickname was the inspiration for a character in the book to be called “Sebby.” The character’s real name is Sebastian Theodore Bartholomew Albert Fitzgerald III.
“In the book, the little boy tells the captain of the ship, ‘You know what, you can just call me Sebby,’” Newman said.
Evans and Sebby were each presented with a copy of the book and a stuffed animal that resembled the dog character in the book.
“Snickers Takes A Leap of Faith” will be available to BCS students in their school and classroom libraries. Additional funding for the book was provided through Candies Creek Baptist Church.
The book will also become a part of the school system’s Accelerated Reader program.
Leaders for Life is the BCS leadership emphasis program developed by Newman. The program uses sailing terms to highlight important leadership and character traits.