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'One of a Kind' School Volunteer Does a Little Bit of Everything

Tommy Schuber is a mentor at Annette Winn Elementary School. But that's only the beginning of all that he does at the Lithia Springs school.

Last year when Joshua's 2nd grade class made Mother's Day cards, he said he didn't want to.

His mother is in jail, his father out of the picture.

Joshua lives with an aunt.

His mentor at Annette Winn Elementary School told him it was all right. He could make his aunt a card, or make his mother one and keep it until she came home.

"I just helped him work through it," Tom Schuber said. "They just need someone to listen to them."

It's that kind of balance that school officials say Schuber gives to every kid he's mentored in the seven years he's been doing it. At Annette Winn, Schuber is one of 17 One-On-One mentors that help kids who need a little bit of extra attention.

"He's a very unselfish, giving person," said Amelia Butler, counselor at Annette Winn. "He remembers their birthdays and Christmas. He is really there for his student."

Schuber, who retired in 2000, spends an hour a week with Joshua, and another hour a week with a mentee he followed to middle school.

Mentors can follow kids "as long as a youngin' wants you to be there, or needs ya to be there," Schuber said.

Sometimes Schuber eats lunch with Joshua and sometimes they play games. One day Schuber asked him if he wanted to pull up weeds in front of the school. The duo ended up with a nice little garden of pansies and lilies.

Most of the flowers are dead this time of year.

"But that's okay," Schuber says. "It was fun."

The 61-year-old enjoys watching his middle school mentee play basketball during his P.E. class. The boy has struggled with his anger.

"When he was here he was a holy terror," Schuber said. "It's good to watch him get knocked down and get right back up and play. He's much better now."

Planting a garden is only one of the many tasks Schuber has taken on at the school where his wife teaches. He's done everything from fixing an electric pencil sharpener to playing janitor for a week when the real custodian was out. At Christmas, Schuber and his wife, Deborah, played Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

"He's up here every day," Butler said. "He's a wonderful asset to have around."

Schuber's family moved to Lithia Springs when he was 11. He graduated from and then studied carpentry at what is now Atlanta Technical College.

Schuber's story about how he met his wife of 37 years is a little confusing to follow. But it appears she is the cousin of Schuber's brother-in-law. The couple has two adult children.

For 29 years Schuber worked for Georgia Public Broadcasting building the sets used on television. An illness forced him to retire early.

But each day he gets up and drives his wife to work. He helps her set up her classroom. Butler said she told Schuber at one point that if he was going to be at the school all the time he might as well do something meaningful.

And so he did.

"I just love the kids," Schuber said. "I hope I'm doing something to help them."

Diana January 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Thank you Mr. and Mrs Schuber for all the two of you do for our precious kids! I truly believe you are making a huge difference in these chidlrens' lives.
Lisa Cooper January 11, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I've known the Schubers for some time.....They are wonderful people. It's nice to see Mr. Schuber getting some recognition for all that he does.
Jerry Johnson January 11, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Mr. Schuber, his wife, and sons, all have a servants heart, his mother was the same way. Always going about doing good. I agree with Lisa, they are wonderful people.
Beverly January 15, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I have two great grandchildren at Annette Wynn and hope if they ever have a problem Mr Schuber will be there to help them.. Sounds like a great Man

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