Who is the first person you see when you walk into the front doors of Harrells Christian Academy? Who is that lady up front wearing a radiant smile on her glowing face? That lady is Betty Newkirk. She’s not just a smiling face; she’s the face of Harrells Christian Academy. She’s the receptionist, greeter, caregiver, and mother to all. She arrives at HCA early every morning to ensure everyone’s day gets started on the right foot. She finds happiness in helping the students with all of their needs, whether it’s giving them a peppermint or giving them advice, and the students and staff find comfort in her.
Mrs. Newkirk’s came to HCA with her husband Joe, who started as the school’s first headmaster, almost 43 years ago. Although he passed away many years ago, she has faithfully and lovingly remained. When questioned about being at HCA all these years, Mrs. Newkirk replied, “Wonderful, I don’t want to be any where else but HCA.” She loves is the children, the adults, absolutely everything. Mrs. Newkirk explains, “I feel like it was a calling for my husband and me from the Lord to be at HCA.”
During a recent school-wide chapel service, students and faculty were given the opportunity to show Mrs. Newkirk just how thankful they are for her, thanks to a generous donation from Gary Wayne Hall from Sessoms Jewelry. Because he knew she had always wanted one, Mr. Hall donated a beautiful, elaborate grandfather clock to Mrs. Newkirk, on the school’s behalf.
Mrs. Newkirk was very surprised when she was called on stage during chapel. Before the clock was rolled out, HCA alumni who currently work at Harrells joined her on stage to share their fond memories and thanks. Mrs. Newkirk chose to have the clock placed in the HCA entrance hall by her desk so she can look at it every day when she comes to school.
We are all so thankful for that lady up front who is the face of HCA.