EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WJBF) – Strom Thurmond High School cares about its students and staff. It recently celebrated one of its staff members who went above and beyond.

Hunter Wilson has been working as a special education paraprofessional at the school for two years.

“So what I do is I assist the main teacher in the classroom when it come to the children whether it’s academically or emotionally and I’m just there each and every day making sure they’re doing their work, doing what they’re supposed to do, make sure they’re at the right place at the right time,” said Wilson.

“Mr. Wilson is like the angel in the classroom. He has a heart of gold. When he works with our special needs students it’s like sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns come out all at once. He has a certain way with the students that they open up to him and he can get them to do just about anything,” said Edgefield County School District Transition Specialist, Miescha Kingcannon.

For Wilson, the biggest reward from his job is getting to spend time with his students.

“Each and every day when I walk in this room it’s just like a ray of sunshine is coming out the classroom from the kids. If you don’t love what you do, then why be there? So, just like with a job, my grandpa use to tell me all the time, you’ll never work another day in your life if you love your job, and that’s what I do. I just come in each and every day and make sure the kids are going to be doing what they’re supposed to do and just be there for them,” said Wilson.

Wilson’s hard work and dedication helped him win the district’s “Support Staff of the Year” award.

“It was an honor. I couldn’t believe it when it happened because I’ve only been here a short time and I figured someone else is deserving of this and I was out at the banquet last Friday and they called my name and there I was and it’s been a blessing. All the people that’s been there supporting me, congratulating me, being there to let me know how proud they are of me. I’m thankful. I’m thankful and I’m blessed,” said Wilson.

“I had to take care of something in the classroom and I went to the next class room and by the time I got there he had already taken care of it. He does things just to support the team, not just his classroom,” said Kingcannon.

Hunter Wilson represents what Strom Thurmond High School is all about and the students and the staff appreciate everything he does.

“I thank him for showing up everyday. I thank him for just being that bright light for our babies,” said Kingcannon.

The feeling is mutual.

“Ever since I’ve been here they have been nothing but supportive. They welcomed me with open arms like a family. It’s been a blessing. This place, it’s more than work, it’s home, and I’m really appreciative to be here,” said Wilson.