The lady affectionately known as Mrs. Brandenburg to Dayton High School students and staff was given the surprise of her career Friday afternoon in the high school gymnasium. Entering through a side door from the Dayton School Board of Education building, Mrs. Brandenburg couldn’t hide the shock on her face. The entire student body and staff assembled in the gymnasium to witness Mrs. Brandenburg receive an honor bestowed on few people in the state of Kentucky, the Wanda Luttrell Office Professional Award.
Mrs. Brandenburg has been with the district for 36 years. Dayton High School Principal Jeremy Dodd describes her as the heart and soul of the school. Brandenburg has worked with 8 different school principals. She has been a school bus driver, janitor, secretary and finance clerk. Mrs. Brandenburg is known for being generous and devoted to those around her. She shares money out of her own pocket with students and stays long past quitting time to help others with their work. “Linda could have retired many, many years ago, but doesn’t even discuss it because of her love of this school and the students she serves. There isn’t a more dedicated or deserving employee in Dayton Independent Schools,” Dodd said.
Brandenburg was chosen from a large group of applicants statewide. Representatives from The Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) came to the school to present Linda with this much deserved award. The award is presented every year to a school district or office employee who demonstrates leadership, exhibits resourcefulness, commitment and professionalism while keeping a positive attitude.
After quoting late NCAA coach John Wooden who started his career at Dayton High School, Superintendent Jay Brewer addressed the student body Friday with these words about Mrs. Brandenburg, “Mrs. Brandenburg’s enthusiasm comes from the love of her job.” Looking over at her with a smile Brewer continued, “She does love her job! What I want you to take from this today is to find what you love to do and you will never work another day in your life. Mrs. Brandenburg is awesome, awesome.”
After the presentation a small reception with former and present co-workers was held in the school library with Mrs. Brandenburg’s family which included her daughter, husband and son that came up from his home in Florida to be part of the celebration. When asked what she was thinking when she came into the gym, she said, “I never anticipated this. This is just not something that I ever expected. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I thought they were forcing me to retire.” She laughed and had tears in her eyes.