"Paying it Forward" is an every day way of life for Lisa Makeever.
"I was sitting there listening to [News 8] and they were talking about the contest and she was the first one that came to mind," says Mary Keith, who works with Lisa at Lombard Junior High in Galesburg, Illinois. "She just is everything you guys were looking for."
That's exactly why Lisa was chosen and why we gave Mary $300 to say it herself... "Mrs. Makeever, I'm here with News 8 because I nominated you for the 'Pay it Forward' and you won because you're so good to our kids. We needed you to know how special you are."
To so many students at Lombard, Lisa has done so much.
"She celebrates their victories, wipes away their tears," says Mary. "She does everything to make them just feel like they're #1."
And #1 is not something these students feel often. High poverty and high mobility rates cast clouds over their education, but Lisa is the light.
"The best part of this job is the kids," says Lisa. "There's nothing that can fulfill a person [more than] to see the delight on a child's face when they've done something really good and they've tried really hard to have that happen."
Lisa has been Lombard's leading lady for nearly 13 years. She looks like your standard secretary, but to students - she's a counselor, a coach, and a companion.
"She welcomes them to school," says Mary. "She gives them a big hug. When they're gone, she notices. She misses them."
Lisa is still not sure what she'll spend her $300 on, but she says no doubt... it will be "paid forward" for kids.
"Thank you very much," says Lisa. "I'm still shocked!"
For more information on how you can “Pay it Forward” with the help of News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, click on the “Contests” tab at the top of WQAD.com.