In tonight’s What’s Working, we are profiling probably one of the most dedicated volunteers in our area. His name is Mr. Butch Sank, and he’s 71 years old. But he isn’t like most 71-year-olds! He has the energy of a young student, which is a good thing because he spends every day of the week…all day long…with young students at Prichard’s Whitley Elementary.
Sank is a retired math teacher. He taught math for 38 years before retiring. Retirement, though, didn’t suit him well. Four years after he retired, he was back in the classroom volunteering. He says, “They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I taught…that is how I got out of my poverty situation, and now I can give back to the community.” Fourth-grade teacher, Pauline Ransom says, Mr. Sank is a “lifesaver” for her. She says he does one-on-one tutoring for students who need extra help, or he will even jump in and teach a lesson. She says she doesn’t know what she would do without him. “He jumps in. He is hands-on with the kids. It’s awesome.”
Sank says he wants to be a father or “grandfather” figure for many of the children who don’t have a father in their lives. “I had it hard growing up, and I had people helping me.”
He encourages other retirees to help out in local schools because he says it keeps him young. He is truly part of the Whitley Elementary School family.