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Sheryl Kolton... The Caretaker That Helped Dawn Loggins Achieve Success
Dawn Loggins
 Little did Sheryl Kolton know what an important role she would play in a young, talented girl achieving an unbelievable goal. Sheryl is a custodian at Burns Middle School, drives a school bus and also works at Mighty Dollar in Shelby.    
   About two years ago, Sheryl’s daughter, Amber brought a girl named Dawn Loggins to their home for an overnight stay and introduced her to her mother. Dawn was a year ahead of Amber at Burns High School. About a year later, Sheryl got a phone call from Burns High student counselor, Robin Putnam. She had been referred by Junie Barrett, head custodian. Robin asked Sheryl if she could provide Dawn with room and board because she had no place to stay. Dawn had attended the Governor’s School Summer Program, was as a senior and needed a place to call home. Suffice to say, she had been abandoned by her mother and step-father who left the area.
   Sheryl was surprised and told Robin she needed some time to think it over and ask the other members of her family. When Robin called Sheryl back after a few days, the answer was yes! She would try to help in what was such a sensitive situation.
   When Dawn Loggins arrived at Sheryl Kolton’s home, she had a suitcase, two bags and a computer that was lent to her from the High School. Sheryl said Dawn was “very quiet and she never asked for money. She was always in her bedroom studying.” Carol Rose from Shelby, a friend of Robin Putnam, then came into Dawn Loggins life. The counselor had ask her friend to help guide Dawn with her college applications. Dawn was thinking of applying to UNC, NC State and a couple other in-state schools. It was Carol who then suggested the unthinkable. She asked Dawn to apply to the prestigious Harvard University. Dawn was hesitant because she believed she would never be accepted. Even though she didn’t think she had a chance, she let Carol guide her and applied to Harvard as well. 
   Some time later Sheryl went to her mailbox. Inside, there was a letter from Harvard addressed to Dawn Loggins. Thinking that the letter might be a rejection, because of what Dawn had said earlier, she laid the envelope on the kitchen table. When Dawn opened the letter her mouth flew open and she gasped. The prestigious Harvard University had accepted Dawn and looked forward to her attending in the fall. Carol Rose had made a great suggestion.
    The Burns Middle School custodian was elated and very happy for Dawn. Sheryl said: “Dawn is a very intelligent young lady.” As for providing Dawn with a place to stay during her last year of high school, she said she had “no regrets and would gladly do it again.” 
   After my interview with Sheryl, she proudly went back to her custodian cart, looked at me and said: “Everyone should have a daughter like Dawn!” Obviously, the lady who provided room and board for the Cleveland County’s newest Harvard University student, Dawn Loggins, exemplifies the meaning of a time worn adage “a friend in need is a friend indeed!” We wish both ladies continued success.      
- M.A. Andrews

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