Everyday Hero: Gynett Johnson

(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

HAYTI, MO (KFVS) - Gynett Johnson is the school liaison for the Hayti School District - something she describes as the link between the school and the community.

It's a fitting job title considering all the good work this she has done for both.

Gynett Johnson doesn't have a problem getting her steps in every day.

She moves between buildings in the Hayti School District tracking down truant students.

"They don't want Ms. Johnson or Ms. Gynett coming to their door," Everyday Hero Gynett Johnson said with a laugh.

She spends her days pouring over attendance records and instilling in every child the value of an education.

"You have to have an education in this day and time," she said. "And if they're not in school, they're not learning. And they're gonna grow up one day and be away from mom and dad. They're gonna have to have something to be able to survive on their own and education will provide that for them."

That education may help them survive in the future, but Gynett helps many kids survive right now.

About five years ago, Gynett became supervisor for a new food pantry housed within the school.

"People would say 'our food stamps got cut.' So this helps out a whole lot to feed the children. And some of them have 4 or 5 children at home. So it helped feed them."

Anyone with a child in the school district could come pick up 35 pounds of food per month.

"I think they really benefited from it."

The program was so successful it recently expanded to a mobile food pantry.

"The way they've got it now I think it'll be able to serve more people," she said. "Maybe more people will able to come and more children will be served."

She's probably right, considering this month it provided more than 12,000 pounds of food to families in need.

It's an important program that Gynett is passionate about because, as she's seen, a hungry child is a distracted student.

"A child comes to school hungry, they're not going to be concentrating on work," Gynett said. "They're going to think what time is breakfast, what time is lunch."

But the food bank helps silence that hunger.

And families have her to thank.

"If you can help one child, steer them in the right direction then I think it's well worth whatever you can do for them," she said.

A mom and Hayti native herself, Gynett says this life, "I guess I didn't choose it, it chose me."

If you know of an Everyday Hero in your life, please let us know.

Just click here to make your nomination.

We'll profile an Everyday Hero each month on Heartland News and all of our heroes will be honored at the annual Red Cross recognition luncheon.

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