Last week, we had the great honor of surprising our custodian Mr. Tommie Green by announcing that he will receive the JProSTL “Dedication” Award, presented annually by Jewish Federation to an employee of a St. Louis Jewish organization who demonstrates assistance and effectiveness to colleagues and an organization.
For all of his 18 years at Mirowitz (some of those with our legacy school RJA), Tommie has been beloved by students, faculty, parents and all who meet him. He is a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so we made football cards for all of the kids, and we all signed a poster for Mr. Tommie. Enjoy these excerpts from our nomination:
Tommie Green has a big heart and a smile a mile wide. He knows the names of every student in the school, and greets them daily with a fist bump. He remembers every graduate and every alumni parent, and makes them feel a part of the school community with his warmth. More than one of our alumni have said they wrote college entrance essays about their friendship with Tommie. He has a pep in his step, a warm greeting and a joke for everyone he meets, and he lifts up the Mirowitz community with his presence.
Tommie shows flexibility and good humor. Last minute changes that might unsettle anyone else don’t rattle Tommie, even when it involves setting up 100 chairs, or cleaning spilled paint or mud tracked in from the garden. He is patient and thoughtful, and in 18 years, we have never seen Tommie lose his enthusiasm to help in any way he can.
To Tommie, success is an event that has gone as planned because the chairs were arranged just so, the floors were clean and supplies were plentiful. Success is lunchboxes lined up in a row, rain boots on shelves, spilled paint and glue and juice cleaned. It’s students who can focus on becoming curious and ethical because their space is tidy and conducive to learning. And once the bathroom floor is clean and the beit midrash is set up for a board meeting, success is impressing Mirowitz students with his crossover dribble, a skill he perfected while playing basketball in the U.S. Army. Tommie’s persistent dedication to excellence and kindness allows Mirowitz to focus on its mission of raising Jewish leaders for our future.
Tommie is not someone who seeks recognition. He is a humble, kind soul, and is most deserving of this award. It would be our greatest pleasure to give him a collective fist bump with the JProSTL Dedication Award.