Ask anyone who knows him and they’ll tell you — Greg Hopkins isn’t one to toot his own horn.
So those who know and work with him in the East Washington School Corporation Administration building will toot it for him.
At the April 25 school board meeting, Superintendent Dennis Stockdale announced that Hopkins, who serves, officially, as Assistant to the Superintendent, High Ability Coordinator, Food Service Director, School Safety Director and Transportation Director, was named the Indiana Association of School Business Officials Region 10 School Support Professional of the Year. Unofficially, though, he serves as bus driver, maintenance worker and, as per Stockdale, any other need he can fulfill.
“I wouldn’t do this job if Greg wasn’t in the office beside me,” he said. “I’ve never seen anyone who can balance stuff and get things done for you [like Greg]. He’s just a tireless worker and puts in the time. When I did my homework on the job, I was talking to a person in the area I know and one thing that person told me was, ‘You’d like it there because the assistant to the superintendent is awesome,’ and that wasn’t a letdown at all. He’s tremendous.
"If he turned in his keys today, I’d probably turn my keys in with him."
The corporation’s human resources director, Kendra Floyd, said word of Hopkins’ leadership has spread to other districts.
“They say they would love to work for Greg and I tell them they’ll have to come drive for us,” she said. “They can’t take Greg. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone more dedicated to the staff and the students and the drivers.”
“I’ll jump on a lawnmower if we’re behind in cutting the grass, but we had a custodian who called in sick and we couldn’t get a sub and what did Greg do when he got done here?” asked Stockdale. “He went down and got the trash out of all the classrooms [at the elementary school] to help the custodians out … Over Christmas break, we were doing ceiling tiles and where’s Greg? In there helping maintenance put ceiling tiles in. From that to helping organize the alumni banquet and right now, he’s working on a celebration for next year with the 50-year celebration of the corporation. It’s unbelievable. Nothing is beneath him to do. Someone told me, a few years ago, they were short-handed, so he cleaned the bus barn — bathrooms and everything. You don’t have that everywhere you work and you definitely can’t replace that. He never complains and he never asks for anything for doing it.”
In fact, the interview with Stockdale, Floyd and Cole was timed with this in mind — due to a shortage of bus drivers, Hopkins, known for being ‘the first to recognize you and the last to want recognition,’ was out driving a bus. That attitude of servant leadership has trickled down to the staff under Hopkins’ supervision.
“He has this very positive, unique style of leadership,” said Stockdale. “This morning, there was an issue with the bus routes — a tree in the road or something — and drivers were calling in and saying, ‘Well, I can get these three kids for you,’ and ‘I can pick up these two,’ and they all just pitch in and get it done. That’s a direct result of Greg’s leadership. They know you pitch in and get the job done. That’s what he personifies. It’s easy for us to have that and harder for us to follow.”
Hopkins will receive his award at the IASBO 71st annual meeting May 10-12.
For more about what his coworkers have to say about Hopkins' dedication, leadership and love for his job and the East Washington community, see today's Salem Leader, on newsstands now and mailboxes today.