The Heart Of A Wildcat
This week we honor an incredible lady that has dedicated the last 28 years of her life to the North Park School District. As the ultimate cheerleader of the blue and gold, today reaches the retirement celebration of school manager Nancy Benson. Nancy has spent her career supporting young people in academics and athletic accomplishments. She's been our caretaker at school and been our biggest cheerleader. No one’s blood runs in the blue and gold deeper than that of this Mama Wildcat. She has more than a heart of a lion; she has the heart of a Wildcat.
Nancy is a 1971 graduate from the North Park School District. During her high school career Nancy was a cheerleader and ran track. At the time, track was the only sport girls could participate in. Her appreciation for education in the school district came full circle when she became school administrator assistant in 1989.
Since that time, this 1971 Prom Queens duties have grown and morphed into being more than just a secretary for the school. To many she has been a second mother. She has been the backbone of the school through crisis situations and stepped up to the plate when there’s been a need. She worked the sidelines as the Assistant Basketball coach in 1996-1997 and was honored to coach in the Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports All State Game that season. In the quest for excellence, her dedication to the district put more on her plate each passing year. Yet she never wavered from taking care of what was most important, her kids at the North Park school.
No one will ever forget how hard she worked to make every small moment a big affair. From her marathon pep rally's that left the bleachers in stitches, to her drop everything attitude to care for a student that is sick, Nancy has been the “go to”. When something needs done Nancy is who gets turned to. She tends to students like a nurse. From decorating lockers to remembering birthdays, Nancy makes everyone feel special. She's traveled hundreds of miles to cheer on our teams and made thousands of certificates celebrating accomplishments in sports and academics.
Her position at the school has been a lifestyle not just a career. Outside of the North Park School District Nancy dedicated herself to community efforts. She's volunteered for the North Park Volunteer Fire department 32 years and currently is Fire Captain. She's bridged that educational gap by hosting firehouse programs for children. She's also incorporated the leadership of our firefighters into education and serving as role models for our students.
Sarah Carlstrom taught over 30 years in the district and shared this about working with Nancy. “It was great working with Nancy through the years, and I loved all the things she did for the students to cheer them on. She always came up with clever things to put on their lockers and, of course, the great pep assemblies. It's amazing all that Nancy has done way beyond her job description. She will be missed.”
To say Nancy will be missed is an understatement. I have a true admiration and respect for Nancy's work ethic, dedication and perseverance. She has served as a role model to so many and is a true example of going above and beyond to make things work. I personally saw her silent leadership keep our school intact when we were without any. In 2008, the district was possibly in the worst leadership shape that I can remember with a full board school board turning over and no administration leadership. Nancy became much more than the smiling face you saw when you walked in the door. She handled the turmoil with grace and dignity. As a new board member at that time, I remember how little I knew about the school policy process. She was the strength that help keep our school moving forward. During that time and shortly after our school was named “Accredited with Distinction” for three years in a row. A large part of that success can be handed to Nancy for keeping the school flowing and being everyone's cheerleader.
Congratulations Nancy on your retirement and thank you for your many years of inspiring work dedication and service to the North Park School District. Our excellence is because of people like Nancy that love the blue and gold with a Wildcat's heart. Please join us today to celebrate her service to NPHS. Her contribution has left a long-lasting impression for generations, after all ONCE A WILDCAT, ALWAYS A WILDCAT!