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Mother & son on staff enjoy family atmosphere at Liberty

2021 American Education Week: Nov. 15-19

  • Wednesday, Nov. 17: Education Support Professionals Day

At Liberty Elementary, a mother/son duo team up daily to help take care of over 700 students and a 73,000-square-foot building. Kenneva Hurt as cafeteria manager and Luke Hurt as lead custodian ably represent the myriad support professionals throughout Fayette County Public Schools who truly make a difference for students, teachers, and administrators. “They are both very hard-working and dedicated to FCPS,” said Principal Lisa Kear. “Kenneva does not want any child to leave her cafeteria hungry, and she does her best to make sure she has fresh options for our students. And Luke is the kind of person who will do anything asked of him.” 

Luke started out nearly 12 years ago subbing on custodial staffs around the district and landed full-time at Liberty five years ago. “It’s one of the best schools I’ve been to, so when (the job) came open, I applied,” he said. This past June, he advanced to head up the three-member crew, and with the promotion came added responsibilities. For instance, Luke maintains equipment, orders supplies, and conducts regular building and playground inspections along with handling the usual cleaning duties. “It keeps me busy. There’s always something going on,” he said.

The warm, family atmosphere is what makes Liberty special for the Hurts. “Everyone treats each other with respect. We all work as a team,” Luke noted. The collegiality is especially familiar as he greets his mother in the cafeteria each morning. “When we have time, we talk about how our day is going,” he said. Kenneva likes working in the same place as Luke, too. “We’ve all got jobs to do, but it’s good seeing him every day,” she said.

Kenneva has served at Liberty since the school opened in 2008. She had already risen to manager at the old J.R. Ewan Elementary three years prior, and she has now logged 25 years altogether in FCPS. “Previously I was a cook and in fruits and salads, and I just worked my way up,” she recalled. As a veteran in the Child Nutrition Department, she now does everything from setting up menus and making tea for the teachers to running the cash register and filling in on the serving line if needed.

When Luke and his sister were youngsters, the job’s hours enabled Kenneva to be home with her own children after school. Ever since, she has enjoyed interacting with students at Liberty. “I’ve watched a lot of kids grow up. If it’s their birthday, I’ll buy them a little cookie (as a special treat). If they’re having a bad day, I try to make them smile,” she said. “I have a lot of good memories. It’s a good school to work in – like a family.”

(Posted Nov. 15, 2021)

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