Alice Whitaker was in a bit of disbelief when she picked up the telephone recently and was informed by a representative of the U.S. Department of Defense that she would be recognized for her support of employees who serve in the Kentucky National Guard and Reserve.
“I was surprised when I first got the call,” said Whitaker, who serves as director of Lotts Creek Community School. “I thought somebody was putting me on.”
But the call was legitimate, and recently Whitaker was honored during a ceremony at Cordia School and presented with the Patriot Award.
“The Patriot Award was created by the Department of Defense to publicly recognize individuals, companies, or organizations who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizens before them have answered their nations’ call to serve,” explained Ralph Brown, Area 5 Chairman of the Kentucky Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
Whitaker was nominated by SFC Eduardo A. Flores, a member of the National Guard who works for Whitaker at the school’s wellness program.
“It is indescribable how my employer, Mrs. Alice Whitaker, has touched the lives of so many people, mine included,” Flores said in a released from the ESGR. “As the director of the Lotts Creek Community School … she is truly an inspiration for us all. One of the factors of her hiring me was the fact that I was a veteran. Her husband is a Korean War veteran, and Mrs. Whitaker always makes an effort to employ veterans if she can … her determination and passion have propelled this little school into a cornerstone within the community. Mrs. Whitaker has been supportive of my career, any time that I have needed to fulfill my military obligations.”
Whitaker has served as director at the Lotts Creek Community School for a number of years, following in the footsteps of her aunt, Alice Slone, who founded the school in the 1930s.