SALEMBURG — Freddie Robinson was all smiles when he received a big surprise Thursday.
Lee Holcomb, the local Jostens representative, presented the custodian with a class ring. During the year, Holcomb visited the school and was often asked one question, “Hey man, when are you going to give me my ring?”
“This has been going on for three or four years,” Holcomb said with a smile.
Robinson was just joking and wasn’t serious, but Holcomb believes he should have one for his dedication to the school and his assistance when he helps students celebrate the milestone of graduation. Robinson goes out of his way to assist Holcomb.
“He’s been really good to me,” Holcomb said. “He goes above and beyond and he’s been a pillar of this community for a long time.”
Lakewood was once honored by Sampson County Schools for having the cleanest school in the district. Robinson had a big part in that and enjoys his duties.
“If I make the place presentable for the staff, maybe they’ll be more relaxed doing their job teaching kids so they’ll get an education,” Robinson said. “If you’re comfortable in your environment, your learning skills will be a whole lot better. You wouldn’t wear a suit to a hog pen.”
Before coming to the school in Salemburg, he worked in the construction business for many years. Under the leadership of Pastor Elder Gary Jones, he’s a deacon at Cedar Point Disciple Church. He’s also on the usher board, sings in two choirs and is the Sunday school superintendent.
“It’s in my heart to help people,” Robinson said about his duties
Thanks to Jostens, Robinson now has two class rings. The Newton Grove native received the first one in the 1970s when he graduated from Hobbton High School. The new black stone ring features the Hobbton High School’s wildcat and his graduating year of 1977. Robinson’s name is engraved on the inside.
“I just wanted to do something special for him,” Holcomb said. “When he wears it, he knows that he’s appreciated.”
Holcomb added that class rings are a way to open up a door to tell a story.
La’Chandra Parker, assistant principal of Lakewood, arrived four years ago when Robinson began working at the school. In the upcoming school year, Parker will be the assistant principal of Hobbton Middle School.
‘I’m really going to miss him because he’s a hardworking fella,” Parker said. “Everything he does, he does it to the best of his ability and goes above and beyond.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.